if you are afraid, try love #syrianrefugees

Refugees
image found at http://www.emanuelsf.org/refugees

So I’ve been thinking about all the refugee conversation that’s been rattling all around the news, the “water-cooler,” and social media this past week. I’ve been kind of horrified, to be honest, at the way fear has wormed its way into the consciousness, the opinions, and the decision-making of so many.

“Forget the Statue of Liberty,” many politicians (including North Carolina’s governor) are saying, “Fact is, you’re not welcome here…”

FEAR: Fear is an interesting phenomenon. And – typically – we approach it entirely the wrong way.

The best way to deal with fear is not to throw rocks, to demonize, to fight, to obliterate, to hide, to separate, to exclude, to build bigger walls, to pull out bigger weapons…

The best way to overcome fear is to love.

Seriously – and it’s a principle that is foundational to the ministry of Jesus and the witness of Christ’s followers – love is the exact opposite of fear.

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. – 1 John 4:18

So when we look at the prospect of offering hospitality, mercy, grace, generosity, shelter, and a home to refugees from the Middle East, then what we are really doing is engaging the most effective intervention possible when it comes to dealing with fear.

Love isn’t just the best response to fear; it’s the only response that can move us forward. As children of God, as individuals, as communities, as states, as a nation.

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear… whoever fears has not reached perfection in love” (1 John 4).

– DEREK

 

14 thoughts on “if you are afraid, try love #syrianrefugees

  1. I, for one, am not scared of them. It’s just common sense. Why would we let the very people who are treating to KILL ALL westerners into a country full of westerners? It would be stupidity to do so.
    I am a Christian, and whole hardheartedly believe in helping people, but how about we help the millions of homeless people on our own soil first? Especially the veterans and young children.

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  2. While I agree that there are more than enough homeless people to help, God’s love does not fit into the rational, logical dimension of our judgment. We need to maintain an open stance to refugees, and do our part to help mitigate the huge problem in the Middle East.
    How many refugees should we allow to immigrate? I’m not sure. But we need to help. Christ would want us to help.

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  3. I agree completely. Helping is without a doubt the best cause of action here. We have to understand we were the original fire starter going into the Middle East, and it was there initial fear of us that led to violence. Now the unifying emotion around the world is fear, and with the worlds history fear only leads to one direction. Violence. In order to stop it we do need a different aspect of love, but getting that aspect will be difficult and maybe even impossible.

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  4. Derek, here is a question for you. There is a bowl of 100 m&ms, and you are told, one of them is laced with cyanide. That one will kill you for sure. The rest are great, and tasty. How many m&ms do you eat out of that bowl? BTW, I LOVE M&Ms. G

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    1. We’re talking about human beings, not candy!
      BTW – no-one is suggesting we suspend our normal immigration/refugee screening protocols.
      – Matthew 25: “Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’”

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  5. Derek, a great observation! I’m currently working on a series tackling the response of believers to the refugee crisis. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the first installment titled “Fear divides us all” once it’s published on Wednesday.

    Thanks for the read! God bless!

    -Proddy

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  6. Wow this is quite the conversation! Great debate, I’ve enjoyed reading it lol. I believe that we are absolutely to feed God’s sheep; however, we also have to be wise and pray for wisdom. Justin Trudeau has agreed to let 25000 refugees onto Canadian soil, and Promised them a place to live by Dec 31st. I’m almost 100 percent sure that NO prayer was put into this decision, so it’s my job now to pray for them and for our safety as well. I believe in helping people…..I also believe in helping animals, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to invite the starving lion into my home. I can help him from a distance lol I went to Africa on a mission trip a long time ago and would have loved to take all the hungry endangered children home but that’s not possible and not wise… to send out help, food, money….that’s what missionaries are for. We do also need to help the homeless and hungry in our own country. This conversation could go on and on, and in my own mind even…. I can hardly keep my own thoughts straight and my point of view is swayed from one side to the other. The Lord does say perfect love casts out fear….But we must be wise, we must love and feed his sheep. Whatever happens, Pray, In all circumstances…Pray. Amen.

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