How To Stop The Violence In Your Generation? (Part 2)
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.
II. NON-VIOLENCE IS BUILT BY GOD’S PENITENT PEOPLE
“shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face,”
As we see in our text we, as in Christians, should humble ourselves. We cannot logically expect the world to humble themselves when we haven’t provided them with an example. How do we do this? The bible actually gives us the solution in the next few words. It says: “shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face,”.
The word penitent means:
So this is a person that is not only sorry for what they have done but they are outwardly expressing their sorrow for their inward repentant heart. In other words, they are showing the outward change that happened inwardly. Why is this important?
A. Penitence Prevents Picking Fights – When we are eager to see peace before trying to win an argument or defend our pride, we will see less war and fighting among ourselves.
B. Penitence Promotes Peaceful Friendships – When we are eager to please God and forgive others we are developing the ability to have friends that we are willing to live peaceably with in our journey with the Lord.
C. Penitence Provides Picking Fights – When we are eager to see peace before trying to win an argument or defend our pride, we will see less war and fighting among ourselves.
We also see that we should pray and seek God’s face. I have to admit that all of us have difficulty in this area. Lets face it, we all get busy and have to juggle many things everyday. However, sometimes we forget to pray. I get it, you sleep in a little too long and say “I will pray later”, but when does that later come? We, as a people, are very quick to negatively respond to a situation instead of praying that God helps you to understand it or resolve it.
We live in a society that’s first thought is to complain and criticize when we don’t like something but how much are we helping to fix it. When we are penitent we will stop looking at the less fortunate as mere inconveniences but lost souls that have value. In too many churches, visitors will walk in their doors wearing clothing that isn’t upscale. When they do this, many church member will be instantly to judge them and maybe even think, “I don’t want them to be around my children and family because they may be a bad influence.” The humble heart will know where they came from and see these people as they would want to be seen. Who are we to decide whether a person is worthy to receive compassion and God’s grace? We had better learn how to see how God sees things. When we learn this simple thing we will set an environment for peace and understanding. Once people feel validated through our grace and understanding this will minimize violence in our part of the world. Seeing God from the eyes of humility, hearing and speaking to God through prayer and seeking God’s face with absolute desire will not only allow us to be vessels for Him but use His power to end violence. In tomorrow’s devotional we will talk about how we can actively help our walk with God while promoting an atmosphere of non-violence. Join us again as we address real life issues with biblical answers on Worship With Willie.