I really appreciated Dan Wooding’s recent article titled “Why are Christian’s angry? Where is the love?” I don’t believe it is a rhetorical question, but one that all believers need to take to heart and truly ask themselves.
|Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi remains alive and well in Libya, despite doctors’ claims that he would have died within weeks after his controversial release in August 2009 (Photo Getty).|
I too have been struggling recently with these questions. As I travel around the world I hear a lot of talk about the need for Christians to walk in unity. But when push comes to shove, do we really live this way? Have we lost sight of the way Jesus lived His life and traded in the commandments He gave us in the Bible for political ideology or religious rhetoric. As I read the word there is only one accuser of the brethren and his name is not Jesus Christ (Revelation 12:10). Maybe it is about time to pull out our “What would Jesus do?” bracelets again.
One of my favorite quotes of all time is “talk is cheap.” I think Jesus understood this principal which is why much of the teaching in Scripture is centered on how Jesus lived and not just what He said. That is likely why he gave a descriptive example of this when he called us to “take up our cross and follow Him.” It was a call to live differently. It was a picture of what James 1:22 is calling us to do. It says “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
|Lisa’s brother Ken|
Like most people I have experienced betrayal, hate and even had my brother murdered in the 1988 terrorist attack over Lockerbie, Scotland. But as I have learned to press on in to the Lord and ask for His love and forgiveness to fill me, I have been amazed at how much more peace and joy I have felt.
Since writing my book titled “Life in Death: A Journey From Terrorism To Triumph,” I have traveled the world sharing my story of forgiveness and reconciliation and I am amazed at how many people who say they are Christians are really uncomfortable with the call to forgive and reconcile.
I did a talk show on a Christian radio show in the US not long ago where I was talking about forgiveness and how I had not only forgiven Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi, the man found responsible for my brother’s death, but also Muammar Gaddafi the leader of Libya. I was shocked as I had self confessing Christians telling me they believed we needed to repay evil for evil, rather than evil for good as Romans 12:21 commands.
|Lisa meeting with Muammar Gaddafi in New York City (Photo: Libya TV)|
Jesus Christ was a revolutionary in how He lived. He was counter-cultural and the approach he took to problems was counter intuitive.
He made love the highest command, with forgiveness a close second. He didn’t just call us to love our brothers and neighbors, but even our enemies. He commanded in Romans 12:9-10 that love must be sincere. We are to hate what is evil, but to honor one another in brotherly love. He called us to imitate Christ and do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than ourselves. The reason is simple, the way we treat fellow believers and nonbelievers directly effects Christ reputation and how the world sees Him.
I hear the Church calling out for revival. I believe true revival will only come when believers start to really live differently than the world. We are called to be peacemakers and should model what it looks like to resolve conflict in God honoring ways. When we truly become doers of the word, not just hearers, I believe true transformation will come, not just to our homes and churches, but to nations.
We should know how to appropriately use Gods word to teach, rebuke, correct and train in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16-17), learn to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15 and 4:29) and bless those who persecute us (Romans 12:14). We should be quick to listen and slow to speak, forgiving those who have wronged us, and on the offensive in the spiritual battle that is being waged with the weapon of love.