Your Morning Cup of Inspiration

We live in a broken world.  Last week’s attacks in Beirut and Paris were a ghastly reminder of that fact.  Now, in the aftermath of these events, our politicians will make speeches, our military forces will respond, and we will…  What will we do?

In the book of Matthew, Jesus tells his disciples,

 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.   In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)

Those are powerful words spoken centuries ago.  Yet they perfectly sum up what we are called to do today.  In the face of Beirut and Paris, in the face of the unremitting evil in this world, we are called to shine our light before others.  We are called to influence the world positively by our attitudes, our actions and our treatment of others.

That means that we have to live out our faith publically.  I’m not suggesting that we simply talk about it.  Talk is cheap.  We are called to do it.  We are called to be a blessing to others.  We are called to take care of the poor.  We are called not to judge, but instead to be merciful.  We are called to be peacemakers.   We are called to, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:31)  Simply put, we are called to be good.

It is only by our goodness that we can change the hearts and minds of those who think that perpetrating violence is an answer.  Annihilating ISIS, or Al Qaeda, or whatever terrorist group is getting the most attention, is simply a band-aid approach.  Other groups inevitably will spring up in their place.  Only by our morality and decency can we ultimately stop the evil that persists in this world.

Ask yourself this, “If a 20-something terrorist-in-training met me today, would my behavior make him question his current path?”  We can insert all kinds of people into that question.  “If a future school shooter met me today, would he still feel alone in the world?  Or would he take a different direction simply by having met me?”  I’ve asked myself those very questions.  The truth is that I don’t know.  I don’t know if I’m having a positive effect on anyone.  But I keep trying.

We cannot pretend that what happens in the rest of the world has nothing to do with us.  We can’t think that the responsibility to combat evil rests solely with political leaders or with the military.  That approach will never work.  We collectively have a job to do.  Our job is to overwhelm the world with our kindness and our love.

The best thing that we can do is to let last week’s events be a wake-up call.  Those events were a powerful reminder that the world continues to be in desperate need of our good deeds.  Let’s continue to be vigilant in doing our part to make the world that much better.

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