The world is a dangerous place, and yet by example, perhaps Christians can create a place of “safe pasture” in areas that are less than likely to be peaceful.
When reading Numbers 35:33, Psalm 37 and Exodus 23, we learn that if we do not engage in the sinful acts of our enemies, but instead try to do right by them we may make our own places of peace. Partially by God’s hand who will punish sinners when the time has arrived, and partially because we model good behavior, this concept seems a plausible reality. Understandably, humans learn ineffective behaviors such as greed and maliciousness from others around them – sometimes they are brought up in homes where these sinful behaviors are not only acceptable but fostered and encouraged.
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While God may punish the wicked in their own time, he may also be eliminating them in a more gentle manner, by offering them healthy Christian individuals who act as models to teach them proper behavior. By ignoring sinful deeds and instead teaching peace and generosity Christians can help others understand that this world does not need to be such a harsh and cruel place to exist.
When faced with people who tenderly move through their lives, not harming them and not filling their days with toxic thoughts and ideas, Christians can act as the hand of God and help sinners to transform themselves and be redeemed.
The Bible tells us not to worry about sinners or help them by reinforcing their twisted beliefs (through seeking revenge or participating in their lives) because those who cannot learn during this life may have to account for their deficits in the next. Christians must do their best to be at peace with their enemies, and model God’s love, instead of furthering the injustice and violence of poor human behavior. Through these means, we may slowly and steadily create a place of safe pasture with work and commitment to God’s greater plan.
The New American Bible For Catholics. (1986). South Bend: Greenlawn Press.
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