Yesterday, we talked about God’s view of injustice and slavery and we looked at how His love for us never wavers, even if we are being mistreated. Today, I want to talk about how this is possible.
Viktor Frankl, an Austrian Jew who was imprisoned in a concentration camp during the Second World War, once said about his experience that, “The one thing they can’t take away from me is my ability to choose how I will respond.” This is the same sentiment that Paul asserted when he wrote the letter to the Colossians. He understood that he was not supposed to encourage slaves in the church to create an army to overthrow their masters. Instead, he gave them a gift; he challenged them to show love and let it be a conduit of God’s transforming power to the lives of those who were mistreating them. You see, when you reflect the face of Jesus, you give perpetrators of injustice a glimpse of Heaven, and once they see its glory, they may just repent and embrace a new life!
Friend, if first century slaves could love the people who beat them and put them in chains, and if Paul could love his prison guards, even when they cursed him, spit on him, and threw things on him, and if Jesus Christ could love the people who crucified Him, mocked Him, and hung Him naked on a cross, then you can love the ones who do you wrong! Whether at work, at school, at the store, on the road, or at home, you can “power up,” not by using force or retaliation, but by showing extravagant mercy and unconditional love. Be the grace-filled presence of Jesus to someone who needs it, and even if you don’t immediately see it, it will have an eternal impact! Isn’t that great news?