By the humility and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to youâ€”I, Paul, who am â€œtimidâ€ when face to face with you, but â€œboldâ€ toward you when away! I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world. For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 2 Corinthians 10:1-5 (NIV)
I do not write about political topics but the events of the last 24 hours have left me asking God to examine my heart about my reaction to the news of Osama bin Laden’s death.
I confess that in the days following September 11, 2001 I wanted President Bush to call out the troops and create parking lots in Iraq and Afghanistan. We had the power to exact ‘judgment’ for what had been done. We should do it. It was just and right. Now the man who (gleefully) took credit for the the terrorist attacks of September 2001 is dead. I am not sad about that. And that bothers me.
Jesus said He came to find and save what was lost (Luke 19:10). He said He came for sinners not those who already had a good relationship with God (Matthew 9:12-13). And I am to go and do as He did (Matthew 28:18-20). It is not for me to judge first and decide who I will share Jesus with. It is not for me to decide who is evil and unworthy.
â€œBut he is evil!â€ Yes, Osama bin Laden did evil things. Yes, he was evil. But I believe that I still should have compassion that he made choices that put him in a terrible place. I should not be speaking from a place of fear or self-righteous judgment. My anger should be directed toward the spirit he was listening to and that led him down that eternally destructive path where he lived and walked.
Paul reminds me that it is the spiritual weapons that I possess that breaks down the power that directed what bin Laden did. God gives me the power to take capture every thought and put it under His control. And so despite bin Laden’s actions, I can make the distinction between the man and his actions. I can look with compassion and pray for other Muslims who need to meet Jesus. I may be the Jesus they meet. I want to represent Jesus truly. God has enough wisdom, mercy and grace for me to do this.
So as we go about our day today and the subject of Osama bin Laden comes up, may the Spirit of God speak to our hearts and cause us to fight our war on God’s battlefield and with weapons He provides. May God be glorified!