The world we live in is filled with anger, rage, violence and pain.
We look for peace, long for peace, but fail to find it.
We call for tolerance, but it eludes us.
How can we find that one thing we all want, desire and need….peace?
As I’ve watched the events in my own country in the last weeks I grieve over lost lives, broken hearts and bitterness of soul that has made peace, forgiveness and love more elusive than ever.
But, there is a passage of scripture that offers the solution to all of this. It’s a difficult passage, in fact it’s impossible. It means we have to set our own desires, our own wishes aside and put others ahead of ourselves. It’s impossible without the help of God.
It’s impossible unless we humble ourselves and put others first.
Here’s how Jesus described this life that can change everything,
“But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic.
Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.
“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that.
And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full.
But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Can you imagine how our world would change if we treated each other in this way? But it goes against all that is in us. We each put ourselves first, we each want “our rights”…we all want what’s fair, but this is an invitation to a way of life that sets all that aside and says that you are more important than I am.
Without God’s help that’s impossible, but imagine a world where this is the way everyone lives…..
…..I think you might call it heaven.