A vindictive faith
By Kenya Smith
It is recorded in the gospels that Jesus died a death that he didn’t deserve. He was beaten, mocked, spat on and finally nailed to the cross for a crime he didn’t commit.
Through it all, Jesus never said a mumbling word, and he could’ve called 12 legions of angels to wipe out his enemies, but he didn’t. He knew that this was part of God’s plan, to redeem humanity from judgment, guilt, and shame. As Christians, we must remember this relentless love.
However, it’s troubling that as the body of Christ, many of us have forgotten what Christ had done for us when we weren’t even thinking about him. As a result, we have become merciless and graceless to those who Christ came for. We have become vindictive.
People who are vindictive wish, pray and even rejoice for harm and evil on others. I believe that vindictiveness in the body of Christ is extremely deadly. Vindictiveness causes us Christians to forget why we are still here.
In Luke 9:51-56, James and John became vindictive when a Samaritan village rejected Jesus and his disciples. They asked Jesus if they could pray for fire to come down and destroy the Samaritans, but Jesus responded, “You do not know what manner of the spirit you are of, for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them. “
I say all this because today is two years since the shooting that happened in Orlando, Fla., where a gunman opened fire at a gay nightclub, killing 49 people, wounding 50. I remember the single mother on TV who was painfully pleading for her son during the tragedy, only to find out that her only child was dead.
I won’t forget how some Christians expressed coldness, all because of the victims’ sexual orientations, especially face to face. Some of the attitudes that were expressed were, “It’s their fault,” “They deserved it,” and “They reaped what they sowed.” Some even used the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah to prove their point. However, they forget that the ultimate sacrifice hadn’t been fulfilled yet. Imagine if the mother who lost her son had heard these things. It would be like spitting in her face.
Vindictiveness is a sign that something is wrong, and we must treat it immediately because like melanoma (which is a skin cancer), vindictiveness is like a tiny mole, but if untreated, it can be deadly.
To my brothers and sisters in Christ, Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:7, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” Before we even thought about it, God was merciful to us. Why can’t we do the same for others? I pray that we will show more grace and mercy when sharing the unadulterated Gospel. Do we want God’s grace and mercy or don’t we? If not, then we are just being so heavenly minded that we’re no earthly good, and we’re just wasting God’s time.
Kenya Smith is a Suffolk native. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.