Suprised by Violence?

“How blessed are those who make peace, because it is they who will be called God’s children!
Matthew 5:9

Daily I wince at the evil and violence swirling around me. Innocent children abused, those sexually trafficked — never having the chance at innocence. Right now, an untold number of children men and women are being abused or murdered. I don’t know how God can look upon all the the abuse and violence that is happening all over the world at this very moment and every moment of time. Yet there is a real distance between me and the violence. What I mean is, I would never commit such heinous crimes, would I?

We shake our heads at the violence that we see. We turn off the news or refuse to read the papers (or internet) because we just can’t take it anymore. However, the violence that occurs in the world is just a larger scale or magnification of what happens in our souls and homes.

Large scale violence and murder begins in the soul of individuals. It is rooted in bitterness, hatred and indifference. We see this in families. Spouses no longer care about each other or family. They kill each other with their words. Families are fractured. Students slander each other in school. Elders and deacons and the so-called righteous don’t even think twice about slandering a fellow brother or sister. In fact, the internet is full of believers who have published slander against other believers. It’s all there on the internet for the world to see.

And we wonder why there is so much violence? It’s in the family of God. It’s in our souls. We shouldn’t shake our heads at the violence swirling about us without being horrified at the violence in our own souls and in our churches. Do we wish an end to violence? Then we must overcome evil with good by overcoming the violence and seeds of violence buried in our souls. Only then will we be called the children of God, not hypocrites.

Only when there is peace in our own souls can we be happy peacemakers.

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