Mercy in time of War
“ It was pity that stayed Bilbo’s hand. Many that live deserve death. Some that die deserve life.” (Gandolf LOTR)
Something’s been on my mind lately. As the last 11 months has taught me anything it’s life is made up of good and bad situations, and some of the worst of situations may seem like a battlefield. It’s in our deepest darkest moments a choice must be made. How do we react to the enemy firing warning shots across our bow, or doing strafing runs to get us rowdy? The enemy wants us to get angry, the enemy wants us to retaliate with force. The enemy wants for us to yell, and scream, and we are expected to be fowl, and angry, allow our hate to flow through us and let that hate consume us. In the Hobbit Bilbo Baggins had a choice when he had Gollum within striking distance while cloaked. Gollum would end up playing a major role years later that allowed Frodo to get the One Ring to Mordor. As Christians we are told not to be the judge, to leave that for God, but as man we aren’t perfect and sometimes we struggle with this.
The hardest thing we may ever do is to provide kindness, to be merciful to our enemies and show love and compassion even when we are being treated horribly by someone or someone’s. How we respond when we are attacked verbally, or physically will show a lot about who we are, our maturity, and our walk with God.
Matthew 5:38-44 “38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. 41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. 42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. 43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”
So much is said in this verse. When struck by your enemy, instead of returning fire, instead offer the other cheek, not to turn the other cheek but literally offer the next. When someone goes after you in a suit, to offer more then they are asking. It’s so hard for us to understand the concept, but in every negative action towards us, we are to return in kind more to them in kindness then we have received in wickedness. No matter how hard we try we may never change the hearts and mind of another person. All we can do is pray for them, live by an example, show the world what it means to walk Christ like but making sure our testimony our witness is a strong solid foundation. Being human we are going to sin, we are going to fall, we are going to fail people, but being true stewards of God’s word we can hope and pray to live the best we can, to make the best choices possible in every situation as humanly possible for being a sin natured creature.
Sometimes someone can say something that just hurts. It’s often the people we care for the most that do the most damage. How much can we take? How deep can that knife go before we just can’t take the pain anymore? When those in our lives destroy everything we build, when the whole of the world around us topples around us, and the enemy is pounding down upon that gate, and all we want to do is throw up our hands and give up. The shadows that rise up against us and beat us down, the Devil that pounds us to the ground, and doesn’t want us to get back up.
When the Devil takes the hearts of those we care about and turns them against us, and the wolves try to run us down, all we can do is turn, and stand our ground. Get back up off that mat, fight back, and do it with Love, with Kindness, with Compassion. You can’t change the world but God can. You can’t change others, but your actions can show others how a Godly man or woman is. We never know the hurt going on below the surface or why someone does what they do.
I believe that we may never know or understand why some people go to great lengths to hurt you. But in our trying times, in the midst’s of the battles we fight, all we can do is believe. Believe in the Holy Spirit, believe in the God, and believe in the Mercy that God, that Jesus Christ has given to us, was also for us to share to the rest of the world. The Mercy we share upon others, the Mercy and love that was blessed to us we have a duty an obligation to share that with the world. The Gospel was given to us and in that new commandments would tell us to love on another, spread the gospel to those without. We have our commandments, and it’s up to us to follow them. It’s not always easy, but nothing worth having is.