Phil Us Up!
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November 17, 2015, 2:14 PM

Do's and Don'ts


     It didn’t take long this past weekend for ISIS to declare and claim responsibility for the attack in Paris France. Some of you may have noticed, I have strong opinions on what we should do as Americans collectively with the rest of the world. I can honestly say I don’t really struggle with those ideas. I do struggle with what I should do as a Christian. How do we respond to these, seemingly unending events? 

     First, pray. Pray for the families, pray for Paris, pray for……this gets tougher, Muslims. Pray for our enemies. Of all the things we do, this one is truly unique to Christians. I admit it’s not easy, but Jesus calls us to do just that.

     Second, love the hurting. I know none of us are in France today. I do know this, there are Christians there loving those who have lost so many. From right here in Haskell, I can love the French. Paul tells us in his letter to some Italians, “rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn.”

     Third, we must love our enemies. Again, this is one of the things that make Christianity unique among the world’s religions. I admit it’s not my first natural reaction to events like these.  It IS what we are called to do anyway. Jesus says; "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.” He didn’t say it was going to be easy; I just want to be a son of my Father in heaven.

 

     Those are at least three things we should do, there are at least three things we should not do.

     First, don’t hate. That is exactly what my human nature wants to do. I think it’s natural to feel anger, especially toward an evil we have absolutely no control over. We all remember when those things happened to us. It’s even come to our home this week. Maikel’s dad is scheduled to be in France this week to work, just north of Paris. These are the emotions that try to lead my soul to some really dark places. We can never hate and reach people at the same time. Pray for my heart to be protected from hate.

     Second, don’t take it out on the refugees. We still need, I believe to figure out a way to help the helpless. The “Good News” first says we are a people of compassion. Let’s be just that.

     Third, don’t mistake the real enemy. I believe all people need Jesus, Muslims, Hindus, atheists, and everyone else. Paul says, “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

     It is times like this that I need the fruit of the Holy Spirit more than ever. What happened is horrible, but our story is bigger than this because it’s written by the author of life. That story ends with great realized hope. God help us all.                                                                                     Philip

 

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