I bet you are, too.
Weary of the gun violence and terrorist attacks across our planet. In the past few weeks, Orlando, Bangladesh, Istanbul, Baghdad and Medina have been torn apart with bloodshed. Hundreds killed, scores wounded, lives of surviving friends and family shattered.
This will not be a partisan post. I will leave the complexities of the Second Amendment and the solution to terror to more political minds. I do believe that individuals and nations have a right to defend themselves, but, ultimately, bombs and firearms will not solve the most desperate condition of the human heart.
When Jesus began His ministry, He wielded a weapon that came straight from the Father: love. I’m not talking about “mashed potato love,” all soft and bland and fluffy. This was a love that sometimes sounded harsh to ears that wouldn’t hear. When the rich young ruler, who boasted that he had followed the commandments since youth, asked what he must do to inherit eternal life, Jesus told him to sell his belongings, give to the poor and follow Him. The face of the callow lad fell, for he couldn’t bear to part with his wealth. Still, Christ loved him enough to lead him to the truth – that God was more important than goods, and following Jesus trumped prideful religion.
Love is the Christ-follower’s secret weapon. It doesn’t often yield instant results, but those who finally receive it are changed forever. Take the story of a former ISIS fighter named “Mohammed.” His story is told by Chris Mitchell, Middle East Bureau Chief for the Christian Broadcasting Network. Spying on a church that showed him nothing but compassion, Mohammed eventually yielded his life to Christ.
Closer to home, I recently heard the story of a man I will call “Felipe,” who frantically entered a Christian shelter after making a mess of his life. He had the custody of a young daughter and confessed that he was apathetic to the things of God. But after spending some time in the shelter, receiving consistent, unconditional love through meals, lodging, Bible study and job training, his life radically transformed.
These are the kinds of stories that refresh my weary spirit in tumultuous times. Yes, we are in a fight, but Christians must be reminded that this fight cannot be won by fleshly means. Our weapons are not made of iron and steel, but of sacrificial acts and God’s Word. “Those who live by the sword will die by the sword,” but those who love as Jesus loves will be counted the mightiest in His Kingdom.