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Revenge or Forgiveness



--> Dear Friends Revenge or Forgiveness May 19,2010
“If a man came walking down the street outside my business here and was about to beat me up or kill me, and I had a gun, I'd shoot him. As a human, that's natural and I couldn't do anything else. What would you do?” a good friend challenged me.

I don't know what I'd do for sure. But I hope I'd respond in a nonviolent way. I would hope I would just start to pray to Jesus. For me, it is important to keep up my regular quiet time of praying and reading the Bible. Let me read from Zachariah 8:12-13 from The Message:

"You've gotten a reputation as a bad-news people, you people of Judah
and Israel, but I'm coming to save you. From now on, you're the good-news people. Don't be afraid. Keep a firm grip on what I'm doing."

Notice all the words that refer to God. It's not that we're going to straighten things out, but this is what God is doing. When we read or watch the news, we hear all the bad things going on—what the devil is doing. But notice that God is turning us into a good-news people. We need to keep a firm grip on what God is doing.

In a lot of ways, I feel like this articulates my mission as a peacemaker. When we lose awareness of what God is doing, it's easy to feel that the devil is stronger than God and we live in fear. I really feel that peace and justice are coming. It may take two hundred years or more. Truth is coming not because people are doing good, but God is. We tend to lack a long-term perspective. One or two hundred years is not very long compared to the time humans have been on earth. Not everyone chooses revenge. Some people choose forgiveness and I believe this is what God is bringing us to. This way leads to peace, justice, and joy.

Bud Welch, whose son was killed in the Oklahoma
bombings, met with Timothy McVeigh. He then pleaded for Timothy's life in court. He chose forgiveness over revenge. In Uganda, a rebel group captured children and made them kill and mutilate family members as a way of keeping them from returning to their families after becoming rebel soldiers. However, their communities were tired of war and asked in newspapers and radios for them to return home. The children came back in groups of 300 to 900 at a time. Today our homicide rate is 1/20th to 1/50th of what it was six hundred years ago (Reference: http://speakingoffaith.publicradio.org/programs/2010/revenge-forgiveness/). These are examples of God's work with us.

Prayers:
Pray for my time in Colombia
starting tomorrow until June 15th.

Special Notice:
I am looking for outgoing people with a passion for peace to help at the Cornerstone Festival June 29-July 3rd. I can provide discount tickets for $79.

Peace and Joy,
Jim Fitz

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