The Lord will rescue me from every evil threat and will bring me safe to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory forever and ever. Amen. (2 Timothy 4:18)
Recently, I was having a conversation with a friend about their difficult family situation. They explained that several close relatives have chosen paths which could lead to the ultimate destruction of their souls and have been verbally attacking this person calling them a bigot, judgmental and other far more offensive slurs. Their attacks are all indicators of the poor choices they have made in their private and public lives.
I believe many of us can relate to these attacks. It is only by willingly accepting the grace of God that we avoid the fall. However, the devil lurks, waiting to tempt us toward his evil path.
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me has not been ineffective. Indeed, I have toiled harder than all of them; not I, however, but the grace of God [that is] with me. (1 Corinthians 15:10)
The devil tempts us most often with the appearance of good by appealing to our emotions and/or egos. The promise of fleeting pleasure, power, fame, riches, to name a few, softens our resolve to the ultimate good, the will of God.
Falling to these temptations, we sometimes align ourselves with the forces of darkness in today’s world. Often, such forces promote abortion, promiscuity, rampant materialism, and attack or denigrate traditional marriage. Such alignments can only lead down dark paths.
Do these “forces” sound familiar? I believe they do.
Ah! Those who call evil good, and good evil,
who change darkness to light, and light into darkness,
who change bitter to sweet, and sweet into bitter!
Why do lost souls attack with such ferocity?
Some have chosen evil over good. Abandoning faith and truth, leaving them with emotions only. The end result of this choice is a lack of reason which ends in irrational and volatile behavior.
Christians today can and should expect vernal assaults because we take positions contrary to society’s false version of good and evil. While under these attacks, we must have hope in the promise of eternal salvation.
You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved. (Matthew 10:22)
How do we respond to such unreasonable actions?
- We must come to understand that those who lack reason cannot be reasoned with.
- Our next response should be the truth out of love and prayer.
- If truth out of love fails, do as Christ did in His passion; do not respond to the attack. Show quiet, humble resolve.
- If quiet, humble resolve fails, we may need to do as Jesus instructed his disciples and shake the dust from our feet. (Matthew 10:14) Even if only for a short period of time, exit the situation. If the verbal attacks are prolonged, we may consider a prolonged absence from the person who has chosen evil over good.
- Lastly, we should pray without ceasing and offer our suffering to Christ on the cross.
The advice above was once given to me under good spiritual direction. I have found great comfort and peace in these responses. Our choice must follow the will of God and love. Love does not embrace the personal choices that could lead those we love to perdition.
We are all created in the image of God. (Genesis 1:27) Therefore, we do not start out evil. Sadly, some choose evil over good. The path chosen or actions taken can be evil and gravely dangerous for their souls. Their prolonged immersion of evil can and will distort their souls.
We can have hope for them because God will never stop calling to any of us. Sometimes our best choice in the face of these situations is to retreat, pray and place some people fully in God’ capable hands.
JMJ, pray for us.
God is good,