How To Stop The Violence In Your Generation? (Part 1)
2 Chronicles 7:14
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
School shootings, active shooter events, violent rallies and destructive protests have all taken a violent path. People these days seem to be more interested in forcing others to except their opinions rather than a position solidarity and support. They collectively agree amongst themselves “If you don’t agree with me, then you’re my enemy and I will hurt you.” I have seen families fight over the presidential candidate and fabricate wild anecdotes about his past in an attempt to prove their points. I have seen a mother evict her 8 yearly son from his home because he voted for President Elect Trump in a school election. I have seen complete strangers extract a person from the safety of his car and proceed to violently beat him up because of his choice of Presidential candidates. Why? Is this really necessary? What does it all prove? I believe that these things and other events can be reversed if we study our text today. We will see how we can stop the violence in our generation!
Disclaimer: The views in this devotional are not intended to be used as a step by step guide to violence prevention or prescription. All thoughts and ideas in this devotional are to be directed at oneself first then to their sphere of influence before attempting to approach a stranger.Non-violence is a personal decision that has to be made before the violence will ever stop and peace begins.
I. NON-VIOLENCE BEGINS WITH GOD’S PEOPLE
“If my people, which are called by my name”
We can’t honestly expect the world to make a choice to be non-violent unless we set the example first. There is more fighting and war in church houses than there is in most “bad” neighborhoods. We will listen to the man of God on Sunday and criticize him on Monday. We will attend church with God’s people and make a vow to help the less fortunate and needy but see a member in our congregation(s) in emotional or mental anguish and look past their issues. Then if we don’t agree with a fellow church member’s point of view we will make a case with them and even convict them without hearing their side of the story.
The world is seeing this and wants nothing to do with the church because of hypocrisy. They will call us fakes and hypocrites and they would be absolutely correct. Before we take the message of non-violence to the world, let’s work on our track record.
What can we do in our generation?
- Actually Read The Bible – Did you know that the bible tells us how to handle interpersonal conflict in a positive way without violence? John 5:39 “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”
- Listen To The Preacher – We spend more time listening to people that have no spiritual basis for their view when we should give ear to the preacher. Nehemiah 8:2
“And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month. And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law.”
- Teach The Impressionable Before They Learn The Inappropriate – We see that people today are being easily influenced by the media and celebrities. The bible still tells us how we should train up a child in the way that he should go. Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
- Agree To Disagree – Listen, comment and offer your opinion respectfully. If you or the other party do not agree on a subject, shake hands and agree to disagree. You have to ask yourself, “Is winning this argument worth losing a friend or even destroying a friendship? Romans 12:18 “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.”
- If You Can’t Find Middle Ground, Meet At The Cross – Too often we place much emphasis on doctrine, denomination and defense that we forget that our primary focus should be on Deity. When you find yourself in an argument about the aforementioned, stop and talk about Jesus and how much He has done for humanity. Galatians 6:14 “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”
I once heard a song a few weeks ago and the lyrics to the chorus are:
“Start with me, start a mighty move Oh, God across this land; Start by changing every part of who I am: Till I’m the person I was meant to be; Change the world, and start with me!”
We will never begin to change our land unless we start with ourselves first. Christians must set the tone for non-violence and peace before we can expect the world to follow. We have the words of life yet we often contribute to phrases of death when we kill our fellow brethren with words of hate. Today in your lives, seek out opportunities to encourage someone and agree to disagree with someone whom you don’t normally agree. Tell them that your friendship if more important than an argument. Be willing to suffer defeat and allow them to win. After all, we win when we get to heaven with Jesus. This one thing could be the vessel that God uses to win them to Himself. In tomorrow’s devotional, we will discuss the next step to becoming non violent in our generation. Join us again as we address real life issues with biblical answers on Worship With Willie.