How Committed Am I…Really

One of the most profound questions I’ve ever encountered is:

Do you really believe what you believe?

Yesterday I told you I was deeply impacted by this quote from International Justice Mission (IJM) founder Gary Hougen:

“I was inspired to establish IJM when I met Christians who actually believed that what Jesus said was true.”

I’ve spent a lot of time since that day thinking that I believe in the truth of what Jesus said, but I’m not so sure my behavior reflects that belief.

On the same day we visited IJM headquarters, Becky and I spent quite a bit of time at the MLK Memorial. I’ve written before about the experience (Abraham And Martin) and (I Can’t Un-Know), but one of Dr. King’s statements keeps rattling around in my brain as I ponder Hougen’s quote.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness.
Only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate.
Only love can do that.

That’s what Jesus said. In fact, that’s what Jesus did.

In 1970, my freshman year of college, people died when an anti-war protest at Kent State University went horribly wrong. It was a turbulent time, two years removed from the assassinations of MLK and RFK. Our campus closed early to prevent further bloodshed. I recall a physics professor who dismissed us by declaring, “Violence in the name of peace is insanity.”

Sometimes I listen to the absurd arguments claiming that the solution to gun violence is more guns and the way to fight political attacks is with more extreme political attacks and I get frustrated, especially when those engaging in such tactics invoke God in their arguments.

I want to fight back, prove them wrong, beat them at their own game. It feels so weak to stand back and let ‘em win.

And then there’s that pesky question: Do I actually believe that what Jesus said was true?

Violence cannot end violence.
Only peace can do that.

Wow. That’s not my natural inclination. I need Jesus to help me understand how to live that truth.

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Copyright 2008-2012 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of: Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site

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