At the moment people of all races and opinions seem to have so much frustration and anger.
I’m remembering somewhere I read, ‘In your anger do not sin…do not give the devil a foothold…Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as in Christ God forgave you.’
Perhaps I’m naïve but I like to think that genuine respectful friendships among people of different race, religion, opinions etc are one of the strongest contributions to a fair and peaceful society.
It hurts when people disagree. What are we supposed to do if we think someone else is seriously wrong? Protest against him/her as an enemy or try to persuade him/her as a potential friend?
Personally I don’t like argument and confrontation but in an imperfect world perhaps it’s a test of our character and our love if we can discuss issues and grievances honestly, civilly and as constructively as possible for everyone’s safety and wellbeing.
It appears fashionable to criticise institutional religion as a hypocritical vehicle of prejudice. It’s worth noting that the peace process in Ireland wasn’t started with politics or legislation but with a few priests and ministers inviting people from different backgrounds to meet and talk to each other. Difficult as it was after many years of unfairness, violence and being ruled by anger and malice they took back the devil’s foothold with grace and love and kindness.
Cynics may scoff but without goodwill being nurtured humbly like this the future for all races of the world remains gloomy!
Then again, somewhere else I read, ‘Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer…Do not repay anyone evil for evil…If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone…Do not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.’
(Quotations from the Bible, Ephesians 4 and Romans 12)