Many of you have probably never met anyone that truly hates you. Someone who thinks you are a despicable person and wishes ill upon you. I especially hope no Christian would ever feel that of someone else either. However, how are we to act when we should face such a challenge?
I see perhaps the most profound example coming from Stephen. In Acts 7, Stephen was being accused of blasphemy for sharing the Good News and was under threat of execution. Despite his bravado in defending himself, ignorance won out. His accusers closed their ears to the truth Stephen spoke. They dragged him out of the court and stoned him. As he stared down death, he prayed to God to forgive his executioners because of their ignorance. This was the same example Christ had set on the cross; one Stephen followed exactly; one we should follow exactly.
It is futile complaining to darkness for being dark. Rather, it is our task to be light in this dark world. Many Afghans are living without an understanding of what a Christian believes. They are given this vile image of Christianity and its followers. So how do we answer back? Love. Patience. Tolerance. We demonstrate for them the very core of our Christian lives, Christ’s love. Many Afghans are left bewildered when a Christian shows them genuine compassion and love. No secret agenda, no trying to call in favors, nothing. Just the love of God spilling out from our lives. Of course, this does not solely apply to Afghans, but never has a people needed it most. The Afghans need to be introduced to Christ’s love, so they may be introduced to Christ Himself–the Prince of Peace.
“Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14
God The Lover: Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. I John 4:8
The Jealous One: Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God. Exodus 34:14
Four More Names of God…
6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.