“The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4
Recently I was left wondering if it is really true. I am saying this at the wake of the deadly attacks in Paris and in one day how much evil can one see? And only through our human eyes. I see a couple in the bus, it is early afternoon and children are taking the bus back home and this couple are on drugs. It is not only alcohol or soft drug, you can see it by their eyes. They seem to be unaware of the reality around them and the man falls on two schoolgirls. And I think to myself, did the devil won that one? Can he still be saved? Will he ever be saved? When someone dies not knowing Jesus, hasn’t the devil won that battle?
Sometimes the victory is ugly. The devil is not a fair player. The weapons he uses are varied. Drugs. Alcohol. How many people are reading this article and know the destructiveness of alcohol? Whether it is because of a car accident or an abusive family member, or someone who lost all faith in himself of herself and gave up on life, somewhere at the bottom of a glass. Alcohol is a strong and cunning weapon. Glory too. It will make us lose ourselves striving to earn people’s recognition. Affection. How many people you know have settled for someone who treats them disrespectfully because they find it more bearable than being alone? Pride. It won’t let us see the error of our way and admit that we were wrong even when eternal life is at stake. Money. A life consumed with work, living so busily on serving that purpose that we never meet Jesus. Hatred. People killed for the values they represented, the killers shouting away empty reasons, when their violence only speak of their hatred. There are many weapons the devil uses, and not all of them make you take arms and kill. But what did they love? If they hated something so intensely, did they also love something intensely? We won’t be able to ask them but I believe that they did.
Somewhere in the memory of these people who massacred so many other human beings, there was a moment they felt love. We may call what they did inhuman but they were human and they knew love, they had parents, maybe children, they had experience hatred but also love.
When they cold bloodedly shot innocents, they didn’t feel love and they weren’t killing out of love but out of hatred. They weren’t driven by a divine power or motive but by an evil one. Love makes you run and run and run because you heard a gunfire and you know someone in that building. Love makes you say a joke to a crying friend. Love makes you open your door to a shocked stranger and let him stay for the night so he wouldn’t have to walk back home scared. Love makes you crawl over your friend and hide her head with your body so she wouldn’t take the next bullet. Love makes you call your friend that you haven’t talked to for years and haven’t forgiven and ask “how are you?”. Love makes you share a moment of silence, crowded in a public square with thousands of people because you think that somehow it might comfort people who mourn. Love makes you stay awake all night and pray with all your broken heart. But love doesn’t make you kill. Perfect love is patient and kind. It protects and hopes and perseveres (1 Corinthians 13).
So what are our weapons? If the devil is fighting with so many deadly and deceitful weapons, what are ours and how good are they? God is love and if we fight for God, we fight with love. Because of love, he has saved us and has overcome the world. So take heart love never fails, and since love never fails the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. The devil will win people over. It will make them kill themselves and take other people’s lives with them. But you, you can still let love win you over.