After another night of restless worry over the state of our world, I opened my blinds and saw the first lily of the year. It immediately reminded me of one of my favorite verses: “Consider the lilies…” Luke 12:27.
There is so much ugliness prevalent in our current society. Hate spewing in all the political posts and debates. I take that back, they aren’t debates. They are spiteful arguments, saying anything to hurt their opponents. Then come the threats of bodily harm. Those who call themselves righteous want to burn dissenters at the stake, including children, and they have no remorse! They have absolutely no concern or empathy for anyone who does not embrace their ideology to the fullest.
The Bible expressly states you shall not wish harm on another person — ever. Period. “Whoever hates his brother is a murderer.” 1 John 3:15, and “Whoever is angry with his brother shall be in danger of the judgement.” Matthew 5:22. Jesus demonstrated anger several times over injustices, like the money changers in the temple. The difference, his anger did not stem from hatred.
Even so, I don’t have to respond in kind. In fact, I don’t have to respond at all. It would be a waste of time and effort, anyway. They have no desire to hear anything contrary to their ideology. Jesus understood this, and often remained silent.
We see this not only in his condemnation, but also in the martyrdom of St. Stephen in the Acts of the Apostles. Those with guilty consciences couldn’t bear his godliness, so they destroyed him.
Evil will always exist. However, God gives us peace the world cannot touch. To achieve this peace we must not allow the evil of this world to dominate our minds and hearts. St. Stephen’s example is ours. While being stoned he held no anger, no animosity, no hatred. His focus was solely on God.
That was my answer. Focus on God rather than evil. That doesn’t mean ignore evil, or stand by and do nothing should I have the opportunity to alleviate suffering, but it does mean not to dwell on it. I may suffer from the evil acts of others, but with practice, I can have the peace that St. Stephen lived. Our time of suffering here on this earth is finite. Our joy in heaven will be eternal.
So, as the next wave of insanity spreads, I need to step back a moment and remember that God will eventually win this battle.
“In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.” John 16:33