THE problem with the world is there’s too much violence. The truth is one incident or event of violence is one too many. Violation. Vilification. Vehemence. All these words summon up something that alludes to sin. Sin is a violation of God, something good, or of another. How do we sin? We sin by violating.
Violence does harm whether it intends to harm or not. Violence, having been done, doesn’t see much of a problem. But a violence done that causes remorse is simply a mistake, and mistakes may be rectified. Remorse at a violence done is an action of love albeit too late.
In the same way that love overcame the civil rights violations of the time of the Rev. Dr Martin Luther-King, love is the only thing that can overcome violence today; a nonviolent action. This action of love might appear to violate its oppressor, because it resists him, but by love we don’t need to violate anyone; indeed resistance can very often be nonviolent, and even loving. Love is creative and innovative enough to wish for a solution that cannot be seen as a violation.
So if we pray for a life lived in a nonviolent way, we’ll commit to never transgressing any human being, situation or God. Of course, we’ll also need to understand our living status as “sinner” will relegate our commitment into the category of hypocrisy from time to time.
But we’re still to aspire to love!
It helps now if we know how fear contributes to violence that produces harm.
How Fear Works Toward Violence and Produces Harm
Why would we want to violate — anything or anyone? We should, in theory, be perfectly content to live in this created world. It is a blessed reality we have and there’s no alternative to life. But, of course, sin put paid to the idea of enjoying creation for what it is!
Fear is the input, violence is the output, and harm is the outcome. Fear comes from misinformation, and the baggage we carry, coming from a skewed filter of perspective that contributes to misunderstanding, adds to our problems. We violate because we, ourselves, have been violated.
Where we’re able to stand back and analyse the information that goes into our thinking, standing apart from our baggage, we avoid fear and we’re not tempted toward violence that produces harm.
Fear isn’t love’s opposite. Violence is. Yet it’s fear that underpins violence. Fear causes us to violate others. But love heals the effects of violence.
So fear causes violence which in turn causes harm. But love drives out the presence of fear, just as light fills the darkness so the darkness can no longer exist.
We must keep short account of all we think, do and say to conform every presence of divisive fear to the abiding, unifying presence of love.
Fear: the input. Violence: the output. Outcome = Harm. Love: the input. Blessing: the output. Outcome = Healing.
Where fear is the input, violence is the output, and the outcome is harm.
But where love is the input, blessing is the output, and the outcome is healing.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.