Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Proverbs 24:29 -- On Promoting Rather than Reflecting

"Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me: I will render to the man according to his work."
Proverbs 24:29

Revenge is pretty popular, and treating someone the way that they have been treating us is almost a given.  Popular fiction in all kinds of media shows us retribution, vengeance, punishment, and vigilante justice, and really lots of other near synonyms as well, and we learn to think of those things as good.  We cheer when the bad guy finally, finally gets punched, or even killed.  We are happy when someone suffers, because they "deserved it."  And because we learn from the values in the stories that we tell each other, we often also try to apply those ideas to real life.

These stories from the world are very different from the stories that God asks us to live.  God asks us to love our enemies, and "do good to them that hate [us]" (Matthew 5:44).  He asks us to love, and to serve others... even when they aren't loving or grateful in return.

God's way is the only way to stop hatred and violence and cruelty.  The other way just makes everything worse.  Today, let's change things.  Instead of returning hate for hate or violence for violence, let's just return love and kindness, all the time, to everyone.  Let's not allow ourselves to be triggered into rash actions which we will regret.  Let's be better than we have been, and promote love, and hope, and peace, and happiness, rather than just reflecting whatever we see and hear.  Let's be the change that will make the world better.

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