II TIMOTHY 2:24-26: “And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.” NKJV
OBSERVATION: Why do people rage? Why are they controlled by their anger to the point that they are willing to destroy individuals and property without any sense of remorse or discernment between good and evil? As we watch our cities burn, as we witness the senseless killings of innocent civilians, our hearts are filled with a sense of loss.
In my work, I have traveled often to Minneapolis to call on Target headquarters. It is located in the middle of downtown Minneapolis and is right across the street from one of its flagship stores. I have been to this store many times. Each time I have been there I found my visit very pleasant. Then, just the other day, I witnessed this store being destroyed by an angry mob. What would incite people to do such a thing?
The one thing I have learned about sin and brokenness is that it has no rational explanation. Just following the RNC Convention, Senator Rand Paul and his wife were both attacked. The attackers were chanting the name of a victim they claimed they were protesting on behalf of. As they wielded threats against Senator Rand Paul they did not even know that he was the one who had introduced a bill to address the very injustice that they were protesting. It simply makes no sense.
Sin is not rational. Brokenness dims reality. And, the devil sits back and revels over what he has accomplished to control and destroy lives. Our first response is to fight fire with fire! We want to shout louder against this senseless violence. We are tempted to think that our anger will counter their anger. Yet, if we let anger take control of our lives we are playing right into the hand of the enemy. This is why Paul counsels Timothy,
- “And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance…”
Our call is to be gentle, ready to speak the truth in love, patient, and in humility correcting those who are in opposition. Our goal is to lead them to repentance. Proverbs gives us a difficult instruction in this regard.
- “Do not answer a fool according to his folly, Lest you also be like him. Answer a fool according to his folly, Lest he be wise in his own eyes.” Proverbs 26:4-5 NKJV
We cannot be pulled down into the mire of rage. We must draw upon the grace of God so that we do not find ourselves doing and saying the same thing we are standing against. Yet, we also must not keep silent. If we are silent, the fool, the one who does not know God or the truth, will be wise in their own eyes. Truth in love, and expressed in the posture of true humility is what is needed.
Finally, we must never forget who has bound these people who are engulfed in rage.
- “…so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.”
It is the devil who has taken them captive to do his will. They are bound by his lies and spiritually blind to see the truth. Caught in a snare they rage on. Yet, we are not to despair. We have the only thing that can set them free. The TRUTH! The truth of FAITH in Jesus Christ. The truth of FREEDOM through His Word. The truth of the TRANSFORMING POWER of the love of God!
While people raise a torch in rage to burn our cities, let us lift our prayers toward heaven. Let us show love and compassion to our fellow man. Let us proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ with no concern for our personal acceptance, safety, or comfort. Let us rise up in love, compassion, forgiveness, and lead others to the truth. Let us lead the way to the cross of Jesus Christ our Lord!
Father, turn the tide of rage in our land. Let Your people rise up in love and model the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Let truth and righteousness shine. Protect all in law enforcement and our first responders as they stand in harm’s way to uphold law, order, and peace in our cities. Out of the ashes of Minneapolis, and so many other cities, let revival arise and turn the course of this nation once again!
In Jesus Name!