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Weekly Reflection

(11-14-2000)

Hello Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Please read I Peter 3:8-18 in your Bible.

Can you believe those people in the Middle East? They're always fighting. Somebody throws the first punch and then the retaliations begin along with the propaganda. Back and forth it goes until it becomes obvious to everyone else that there can be no winner. It's just like those people in Bosnia, Yugoslavia, Rwanda, and Burundi. Thousands of years of getting back at each other with no end in sight. Thousands of people living for the taste of sweet revenge.

I'm glad we're not like that in this country. Well, except for the presidential election. Oh, and the congress and president always trying to get one another. Then there's companies trying to put each other out of business. Yeah, the frivolous lawsuits are tying up our courts. Don't forget about road rage, gang wars, arguments that lead to fist fights, differences that lead to gossip that destroys, neighbors who erect fences, divorced couples who use the children to hurt each other, teachers that use grades for dominance, police who abuse their power, pastors who intimidate, parents and spouses who physically abuse their children and loved ones, spurned lovers who wish to inflict emotional pain, and the list could go on and on.

We live in a world that is too often consumed with getting even. When we get hurt or someone we love is hurt, we don't want to just get mad. We want to get even-we want to cause others the same pain we are feeling. We want that "so and so" to suffer just like we did. Fear lies at the heart of this primal human urge. We fear that someone will hurt us again. We fear that someone will get the upper hand. We fear that our own ability to dominate others will be compromised.

I Peter 3:9 says, "Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but on the contrary, repay with a blessing." In verse 14 the passage goes on to say, "[D]o not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated" It is ultimately out of fear for our selves that we seek revenge. Thanks be to God that through Jesus Christ we have nothing to fear. We do not have to be afraid of losing ourselves because Christ's love holds us tightly. The injury we have received from someone else cannot destroy us because we belong to Jesus Christ who has been through the destruction of death to live again. Christ's death and resurrection means that the only power that holds us is God's love.

Dogs who bite people do so because they are afraid. We do the same thing. Pray that God's love in Christ will be foremost in your mind so when an injury does come your way, you do not bite but bless.

Christís Peace,
Pastor Scott
412-682-6886

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