When events like the terrorist attacks in Brussels make the headlines, it is hard to comprehend how any human being can possibly think that their actions in killing and maiming people will achieve anything positive. Such events are happening all too often, and in different countries. It is almost too hard to watch the pictures on television and be faced with the tragedy that has been inflicted on people who were going about their everyday business.

As I reflect on such atrocities, I am painfully aware that Christians have done exactly the same sort of things down through history, and they have done it in the name of Christ. I wonder if we will ever realize the truth of what the apostle Paul wrote when he said that we do not contend against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers that are in the heavenly places. People are not my enemy; they never have been and they never will be.

I hate the extremism that kills and injures people, for whatever cause and reason. I hate the extremism that kills and injures people, regardless of who it is that is carrying out those acts of violence. I pray that peace will reign in the human heart and that such acts of violence will be put aside in order to live together in the peace that welcomes and embraces one another.

As a Christian who seeks to live a Christ-centered life, I long for human beings not to hurt one another. I recognize that this is not just about guns and bombs – but it is also about words and attitudes. We must value other people above our own selves, and show the love of God through acts of kindness – even as Jesus himself did. May it be so, for his glory alone.

[Published March 24th 2016]