Universal Love: Roadmap to a less violent world

Recent mass shootings and other violent events around the world have left countless people once again feeling helpless and vulnerable. There’s an immediate and heartfelt desire within many, including me, to pray for the victims of such crimes. How can we pray in a way that severs the very roots of violence? What can help preempt more violence? And how can we cultivate a totally different way of thinking and living?

The roots of violent acts are, in essence, violent thoughts. Long before a trigger is pulled and bullets are fired, angry and hateful thoughts and feelings knock at the door of individual consciousness. Aware of this, Christ Jesus urged people to deal immediately and decisively with anger well before it leads to violence. In his Sermon on the Mount, he identifies anger as the root of murder and encourages those with disagreements to reconcile quickly. It’s a little like reconciling mistakes in your financial ledger: If you fail to correct them, however small, you won’t get the right sum.

How do we do this when facing serious disagreements or hate? By learning to reconcile, or make right, our own thoughts and feelings first. As Jesus taught, we must square up our mental house entirely—bring every thought and feeling into alignment with what is true of God and of His children. We must strive to take Jesus’ Golden Rule, for example—Do unto others as you want others to do to you—and use it as a measuring stick for every thought, feeling, and action we have, moment by moment.

God taught me how to love my mom
May 6, 2019

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