It’s been a rough couple of days. Tragedy and terror in the world. People who attack with violence and others who follow it up with verbal rants that do nothing but spread hate.
It’s difficult in these times to be a light for others and encourage them to rise above. During times like these, people are angry and hurting and they don’t want to hear about prayer or peace. They think it doesn’t do any good, or that it won’t satisfy this immediate need they have to ease the pain they feel. I can understand it. But my God teaches me to do differently.
Just moments after hearing about the Paris attacks I saw people blaming the wrong people, putting their political opinions out there, talking about what’s wrong with the world. It isn’t that I don’t sometimes feel the same way, it’s that I know deep down the only way to overcome darkness is by spreading the light.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
1 John 4:18
When we experience hatred and terror and violence, it can seem like a radical and perhaps passive thought to pray and to love. But we aren’t doing this thing alone. I know that when I pray I have a God who hears me. And I know that words have power. Angry, negative words have the power to start wars. Kind and loving words have the power to end them.
This weekend, a series of coordinated attacks terrorized the city of Paris, a city beloved to millions of people. The City of Light. Of love. The place many of us dream about and associate with culture and art.
In the moments after the attacks, many people showed support on social media by changing their profile pictures and tweeting out words of love and healing.
But others took to social media to blame and accuse people that had nothing to do with these attacks. They didn’t hold accountable the people who have succumbed to evil, and instead lumped them into a group with innocent people who only want peace.
It’s important to know that your voice matters. Don’t shy away from things because you think it doesn’t matter. You can help be a blessing to people when things like this happen by:
- Being careful what you retweet or repeat. Make sure you fully understand what is being said and implied.
- Not spreading hate. Don’t group the actions of extremists into an opinion about an entire group of people.
- Set others straight. This is difficult so you need to tread lightly. Speak with love and gently help others see what is true and what isn’t.
- Pray! Let God hear your concerns, fears, and questions.
- Understand who the enemy is. Our enemy is the devil, not other people. The people who do wrong are the ones who have succumbed to evil, and evil is always our enemy.
- Remember who is victorious in the end. Never lose site of it.
To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations–
In these frightening, challenging times… do not give in to fear.