The Roots of Violence

One day as I was taking my morning walk near the lake on campus I was witness to a fight. I stood and watched but made no attempt to break it up. Was I wrong?

The two contenders, by the way, were ducks. I don’t know much about bird behavior, but probably this little fracas was normal, perhaps even necessary. In fact, I’m not even sure it was a fight, although with all the wing-flapping and shoving, it certainly looked like one.

Such things in the natural world may be perfectly normal, but what about conflicts between those who have been made in the image of God?

Downward spiral

The world God destroyed in Noah’s day was “filled with violence” (Genesis 6:5, 11-13). Our own world is growing increasingly volatile.

Domestic violence, school fights, bombings, gang warfare, mass shootings—on and on it goes. These continue to rip and tear at the fabric of society. Should we find this disturbing? Or is it just the way it is?

Surely the dark motives underlying human strife are not factors in the world of nature. Can you imagine ducks nursing grudges or feeling hatred or plotting revenge?

Murder, Jesus tells us, begins in the heart (Matthew 15:19). Violence in its various forms is fueled by such factors as pride, prejudice, anger, hatred, envy, greed, and resentment. None of it is admirable; all of it is ugly—all the way from the hidden motive to the bloody deed.

The ultimate solution

“For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us…” (Titus 3:3-5).

Those who follow Christ’s example and teachings not only avoid divisiveness (Titus 3:9-11), but are actively engaged in doing good (Titus 3:8, 14).

Oh, what a difference the gospel makes! Former enemies have become friends. Service replaces strife. Peace reigns in the place of discord.

If only the world understood.

battered woman-tagged

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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david_gibson6@yahoo.com

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