There has been a lot of evil showing up in this world in recent news. It is nothing new, but it has become very visible in media and other outlets, which has caused a major stir of emotion. People have expressed many different views on the different events. From Aurora, Colorado to a former LAPD officer that decided to become a vigilante, there is a face of evil that has shown up in our world.
Now, how do we respond? We have a human nature of anger and disgust. We lose all respect and we hope to see payback happen. Some celebrate when they hear of the death of the one perpetuating that evil. Is this really how we as Christians should respond? It is clear that these men and women who do some horrible things are clearly acting in a way that deserves judgment, but by whom?
Jesus spoke clearly against the mindset of judgment. In an interaction with a woman caught in adultery, which was considered a pretty evil act in that time (probably should be taken just as seriously today), and took an opportunity to sit with her. The religious and community leaders brought her to Him and put it on Jesus to make the decision of her fate. While they stood there rubbing their hands together and tossing their stones up and down, Jesus bent down into the sand, started writing something, and said “He who is without sin cast the first stone” and those words caused the crowd to drop their stones and go home. Jesus had the lady lift her head up and said, and this is paraphrased, “Hey, look, these people left because they had nothing in their life that made them different from you. So, I don’t condemn you!” That lady was set free that day due to the radical love of a rabbi going against culture.
It is not up to us to decide people’s fate. It is not up to us to exchange evil for evil. When we use words of anger and hate against these “evil” people we fall into the trap of speaking evil. We are using our tongues to speak hate. We need to be aware of our heart and our tongues and the damage they can cause to the witness of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Only God can do the judgment and only Christ can do the mediating and saving. So, before we join in hate speak or angry words, we need to draw ourselves back to Jesus and that woman. We have no right to cast stones, but we do have the right to pray and love our enemies just as much as our neighbors.
A friend wrote “No matter how grungy underneath, God sees us covered in a blanket of snow. We are his beautiful snow angels. Now what if we saw each other this way??? It’s not that we can’t, it’s that we refuse to. Tell me, what would happen to those who continue to commit crimes and we keep punishing them if instead we saw them as beautiful snow angels and chose to love them? God has challenged me to be a radical lover. What about you?” I could not say it any better.