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Violence is no new thing. Cain, first mortal man of natural birth, killed his own brother in a jealous rage. God, knowing his heart, warned if he didn’t deal with his anger it would end up destroying him. And, it did. Anger will do that to anyone.

The fact that we usually turn to the church for answers in times of crisis indicates that we know this is basically a spiritual problem. If it was just an educational problem, we’d leave it to the schools. If it was just a legal problem we’d leave it to the courts. If it was just a discipline problem, we’d leave it to the parents. But it’s a problem of the human spirit.

So what can the church do about violence?  

First, we can call people back to God. A bumper sticker I read said, “With God all things are possible.  Without God all things are permissible.” The more God is elbowed out of our society, the less moral restraint there is. We need God in every part of our lives.

Second, the church needs to return to its first calling, to preach redemption through Christ. The message of the Gospel is that no person has to stay the way they are. People can change. Love can overcome hate. Peace can conquer violence. Brotherhood can replace prejudice. It is true, “The old-time religion . . . makes you love everybody.”  It even makes the Baptist love the Methodist.

Third, we can join together with the school and the home in demanding respect for authority and strict discipline. People must be accountable for their actions. We must counter the onslaught of the media – television, movies and music that devalue human life and glorify violence.

The bottom line is that all hope is not gone. We need to stop ringing our hands and start ringing church bells. The answer is inside those doors where we find Christ. That’s where I found help. That’s where society will find it also.


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Paul W. Powell - www.PaulPowellLibrary.com

Today's Devotional

Watch Your Influence

A guest star on a TV show once said, “Two things I’ve had in life, and both ample—good advice and bad example.” This has been the experience of most people.

Most of us are careless or just too thoughtless about our influence. Every person’s life is a profession of faith. Every person’s conduct is an unspoken sermon that he is forever preaching to others. Someone said years ago, “Every man is some boy’s ideal.” Oftentimes our influence is unconscious, but it is real nonetheless.

God holds us accountable for our influence. Jesus said that it would be better for us to have a millstone hung about our neck and our body cast into the sea than that we should cause someone else to stumble and sin. This makes our influence mighty important.

I have often thought of the old story of the blind man who always carried a lighted lantern. Someone asked him why he did this. He replied, “To keep other people from stumbling over me.” It wasn’t a bad idea. Now he wouldn’t stumble over anyone else, or at least if he did it would not be intentional. But he didn’t want anyone to stumble over him, so he carried a lighted lamp.

We need to see to it that, under God, nobody stumbles because of our lives.

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