Friday, August 19, 2005

Care for others

Zero in on caring for people. That's the 7th step in Dr. Jenson's MAXIMIZERS acrostic. Apart from our relationship with God, our relationship with people is the most important. Dr. Jenson says we should compliment, express confidence in, comfort, and coach. We should be interdependent, neither being too aloof nor too clingy. We should develop deep, loving relationships with at least a few people. We should be able to trust each other. And finally, we should yield for the betterment of the relationship.

It's important to remember the "one another" aspect of these statements, which is soundly biblical. I should not only be in a relationship where I trust, but where I'm also trustworthy. It's fine if I'm there for people who need me, but they need to be there as much as possible when I need them.

The acrostic (Dr. Jenson is very fond of them) he uses here is UNITY. Unity, he says, is not uniformity or union or unanimity. It's sacrificing our individual desires for something even better.

Al Qaeda is not at all people oriented. They certainly don't know godly love for people. They need one another not to build deep, loving relationships, but rather to plan the destruction of innocent people for the attempted takeover of society. They are trustworthy with one another not because it is a virtue, but only because to be otherwise would mean death. And any encouragement or praise they give is for a perverse sense of bravery and mission in death and destruction. Finally, their unity does not foster a better society, it only brings about the death of innocents, loss of freedom, hatred, fear, shame, and other such evils. Just as it's possible to tell a person is a Christian by the love they have for others, it's possible to see a terrorist's soul lost to a false god by the hatred they have for others.

Jesus did say we should love those who hate us and pray for those who persecute us. We can hate what they do but not them personally. So I'll be the first to admit I need the Lord's supernatural power to give me this ability after seeing countless people strap bombs to themselves and murder innocent people.

On the flip side, the coalition forces have focused on helping people in Iraq. They have done their best to rebuild infrastructure, bring democracy, provide food and water, and restore hope. There have been some of our men and women who have gone astray, and their deeds have been sharply condemned and punished. Our ideology is the benefit of all mankind. Al Qaeda's is the benefit of their policies and the destruction through violent force of all others'. But we know, according to Revelation, that the Beast (Satan) and his minions will find their final and eternal home of torment in hell. I pray that those whose hearts are bent on following Al Qaeda will realize they are headed down a path to eternal damnation and will turn to the loving and merciful true Lord, Jesus Christ. And I pray that other Christians will be willing to take the difficult step of expressing agape (unconditional) love, not necessarily appeasement, to those who live to hate.

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