This world has a lot of tragedy. In the wake of the latest shooting, I wonder how to respond as a Christian even when I don’t know the families personally. It would be easy if you knew each and every family, but most of the time you don’t. How can you respond to make a difference? How can you shine a light in the darkness?
By praying for the victims and their families.
As your heart cries out at the unjustness of the situation, remember God’s heart does too. Pray for strength and comfort for the victims’ families. Prayer for the families gives you the opportunity to align your heart and mind with God’s to take the next step.
By stamping out hatred and prejudice in your life.
Stamp out hatred and prejudice in your life to let Christ’s light shine through you. Much like a tin lantern has holes stamped to let light through, Christ’s light in your life is hidden under a tin can. Whenever you stamp out sin in your life, you let God’s light shine through that hole. Wherever you perform acts of kindness and show love, you allow God’s love to shine through your life. Whenever you take a stand against injustice and evil, you act as God’s agent in the world for good. The picture created in your life through punching holes in the can is beautiful and God’s doing, but also recognize there are still dark places where God’s light and love have yet to shine through.
Love others as you love yourself, with patience and kindness.
Love others as you love yourself. To do that, recognize everyone has value and is worthy to be loved. Even if they don’t fit into the box you would call “normal.” You have family and friends you like and people who are prickly and not pleasant. It’s much harder to love prickly people, to treat them with respect and do good deeds for them.
God says to love others as you love yourself. It’s easy to love, respect and do good deeds for yourself. You love yourself with patience and kindness, therefore you love others with patience and kindness too. It takes a lot of thought and effort to love that prickly person with patience and kindness. It takes time to build a relationship, to listen, to see the person for who they are and not how they look or act.
Let God’s light shine. Stamp down hatred in your life. Punch out prejudice. Love others. Do good deeds. Let love shine through your actions.