BY MONICA SCHMELTER
PHOTOGRAPH BY LISETTE WAGTELENBERG
Photo: Sunset over Mount Sinai
The times we live in are increasingly complex. In many cases, politics and religion are at odds. We hear stories that bring doubt and fear into our lives about the security of our country and the safety of believers and unbelievers all over the world.
Since 9/11, the image of Muslims evokes fear and mistrust in Americans. Yet, Jesus teaches compassion and challenges his followers to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. How do we as believers respond to these challenges?
Does praying for the peace of Jerusalem mean that we should not be concerned for the salvation of Muslims? In some circles today (even Christian circles) hostility toward Muslims is heightening. While compromising God’s Word is not an option for Christian believers we are still called to love all people.
God’s Word is clear that He desires all people to be saved. His will is that “none” would perish (2 Peter 3:9) This means then, if we want to fulfill God’s will then our hearts must be filled with love and compassion for all people. This includes believers and unbelievers alike. This includes all people whether they are Jewish, Muslim, and the list goes on.
We live in some challenging times. It can be difficult to know how to respond to some of the issues that we are facing in our world today. Yet, there are some things that we can do to help simplify matters. As believers in Christ we have dual citizenship. We are citizens of earth and heaven. Our heavenly citizenship is our higher calling and this sets the standard for all of our relationships. When we are fully committed to Christ there is no contradiction in loving all people – even those that live as enemies of the cross.
While the world is fighting we can live in peace. With Christ as our Savior we can love even those that hate us. We have a higher standard as our foundation. This higher standard gives us a firm foundation. From His foundation for our lives we can love all people, pray for peace, and do a part as citizens on this earth, all the while looking to heaven as our eternal home.
Monica Schmelter is a regular contributor to Southern Guide to Life. She is speaker, General Manger of WHTN of the Christian Television Network, host of CTV’s ‘Bridges,‘ and author of ‘Right Sizing Your Life,’ and ‘Does This Make Me Look Fat?’ To find out more visit MonicaSpeaks.com. Follow her on Twitter at @MonicaSchmelter. Visit her on Facebook at Facebook.com/MonicaSpeaksTV.