Challenging believers in Jesus to think and act based on Bible truth.

Think and Act 3.9.16 – Death In Our City

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How does the news of death in your surrounding area strike you?

Over the past month or so, some random yet shocking deaths have made news in our local area. Traffic deaths, strange deaths, heroin-related overdose deaths – all have topped headlines.

Some questions in the wake of such heaviness:

1. Does it bother you?

Of course it should bother us when human life ends prematurely. If we wear the “pro-life” label, then we should pause when we hear this type of news (or the news of any death for that matter).

2. Does it distance you, or instead bring you into the events?

What may bother me the most about my own approach happens when I attempt to separate myself from it. “Well, I’m not that messed up” or “I’m glad those problems belong to someone else” type of thinking can happen if I let it.

Instead, I should seek to both understand and pray for those involved.

3. Does compassion come before judgment?

Certainly, two men who died recently of heroin overdoses about 1/4 mile from our house made bad decisions and bore those consequences. But should that thought spring first to my mind as I process? Does that thought just make me feel better about myself? In that scenario I can build a case against them as judge and jury and put them away to a place where I don’t need to deal with the issue.

The challenge comes in considering their family, those left behind, the decisions and process of laying them to rest. My shallow thinking can actually limit my understanding regarding larger systems which contribute to the problems that lead to these sorts of deaths. Further, what about praying for the responders and police who must deal with the dead, and praying for the individual who stumbled onto the harrowing scene?

Excluding compassion in my thinking limits my response to frustration and justice. I’m glad God doesn’t treat me that way.

Think. How can we effectively process random, harsh, or difficult deaths in our area where we may not have a personal connection?

Act. Pray for these types of situations and those affected. They are real people who now must endure real seasons (if not lifetimes) of real suffering. Discuss harsh topics in a way that seeks understanding and avoids harsh judgment as the primary response.

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