It isn’t easy to love a world that is going bonkers. Yet that is precisely what Jesus commands us to do, LOVE our neighbors to the same degree we love ourselves (Mark 12: 30-31). How in the world can we love a world that seems bent on racing to the bottom of the sin barrel? Taking it a step further, how can we learn to love those who have wounded us? Let me suggest four Biblical principles that just might turn your heart from agitation to compassion.
Imagine an old-fashioned balance scale for a moment. Place the sins that the world (or a loved one) has inflicted directly against you on one scale pan. On the other pan, place all of the sins you have committed against God.
The sins we have committed against God are not only more vast, but they are more egregious. We sin constantly against the Lord of glory. The world occasionally sins against mere mortals like us, and yet, the Lord of Heaven and Earth forgives us constantly. How can we not forgive the world occasionally?
Even pagans feel like justice must be meted out to guilty criminals. We feel that, and so does God; and that is how you can release the anger you have for destructive and mean people. Justice will be served one of two ways: God will punish the unbelieving sinner, or God will have judged Jesus for the sins of those who are in Christ.
No matter how you slice it, God is going to deal with it. There is a good reason vengeance belongs to the Lord (Romans 12: 19), He does a much more thorough job than we do when it comes to rendering justice.
The doctrine of hell, in my opinion, is a key for moving from forgiveness to actual love and compassion for those who sin against us. When you consider the fate of the ungodly and what their eternity looks like, we will be moved from anger, to concern, to genuine love.
Think about your enemies. Now imagine them being cast into an eternal lake of fire that burns day and night forever. Let that horrific thought linger and you will be amazed at how soft your heart will grow.
For Our Good
If you are willing to let a dead man speak to you, you will find healing for your troubled soul. Chances are pretty fair that his brothers treated Joseph far worse than you have been treated by anyone. Joseph’s brothers schemed against him and left him for dead. Sold into slavery and put in prison, Joseph was able to say to them, “What you intended for evil, God intended for good” (Genesis 50:20).
Granted, Joseph was able to see the good that God wrought because Joseph was ultimately exalted to power and had the ability to save the lives of his fellow Jews. But if you take a moment to consider the good that has come out of the bad situations in your life, you might find yourself like quadriplegic Joni Earickson Tada who wouldn’t trade her disability for anything because of the work the Lord has done in her heart.
Your kind, wise, heavenly friend never puts His children through painful situations that are not good for us. Your good physician will never force you to drink a cup of poison; He only gives healing medicine to His children.
Our Faith Works
Ignore those who say, “Theology isn’t important.” Theology, when applied, is crucial to helping us cope, heal, and even love our enemies. If you take the time to ponder these four Biblical principles, you just mind find yourself not being quite as agitated about the collapse of Western Civilization. You might also find yourself able to love really unlovable people. After all, Jesus did.