I jotted this down in my notebook a couple weeks ago when I was reflecting on how much anger there is surrounding us today - even among the Christian community...
"The most powerful weapon we have is not our anger or our indignation - but our love".
I had a confirmation of that this morning. John had breakfast with a group of local businessmen. One of them was the defense lawyer for one of the men who killed Ms. Mathewson (my son's teacher). As soon as John told me that I felt emotion rising in me. How could anyone defend someone like that?
But John went one to say that this lawyer is a Christian, and even though he works with people who are guilty of what they are accused, they still need a lawyer. And, he sees this as an opportunity to minister Christ's love to even the most wretched among us.
I asked John if he had said anything about Ms. Mathewson's case....knowing that he is bound to certain confidentiality.
But apparently the lawyer did say this man that he had to stand beside in court was an extremely hardened individual. It wasn't until Ms. Mathewson's family & friends were given the opportunity to speak to him - and instead of anger they showered him with Christ's love & forgiveness - did he begin to crack.
Love IS more powerful than anger. Forgiveness IS more powerful than indignation. I don't exactly know how to put that into practice in my daily life. When we are hurt & wronged - anger is our go to response. It seems the natural response. The response we have a right to. I can't imagine standing in front of the killer of a loved one, especially a killer who showed absolutely no remorse, and react with love & forgiveness instead of hate. I can't imagine it, because it is humanly impossible. But it is only through Christ who strengthens me that such love is possible. Am I seeking him in the little things? In the small offenses? When I feel misunderstood by my husband or unappreciated by my children. When someone says something to me that hurts my feelings. Goodness, am I able to insert love & forgiveness in place of the go to response of anger when someone cuts me off while I'm driving? I know I fail repeatedly at this. We all do. But, I'm learning that putting on the mind of Christ is not something that just automatically comes when we become a Christian. It's an ongoing work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts & minds. It takes practice and perseverance....and failure. But, we have new mercies every morning to keep going, to keep learning, and growing.