Responding to Boston

On Monday afternoon, terror struck Boston.  When things like that happen we usually see the best side of people.  Policemen, firemen and even regular citizens rise up and come together to help others.  But, just a few minutes later on the Internet, we also tend to see the worst side of people.  Here’s how Christians can avoid falling into the latter category.

1.  For now at least, just shut up.

No one needs to hear our opinion on why this happened and they certainly don’t need to hear our opinion on why God allowed this to happen.  Taking God’s name in vain is more than just saying his Son’s name when you hit your thumb with a hammer.  It also involves speaking on his behalf when he has not spoken.  Jesus Christ was on his throne when those bombs went off and he is on his throne now.  Nothing is beyond his sovereign care.  That’s good enough.

2.  For now at least, leave the president out of this.

If you don’t like the president, there’s a tendency to blame him for everything.  I haven’t really been a big fan of the president since 1988.  But my acne in the tenth grade wasn’t his fault.  Bad things still happen no matter who the president is.  If we see a clear lapse in leadership somewhere down the road we should bring attention to it.  But now isn’t the time.  Our country doesn’t need another Sean Hannity.  It does need Christian citizens to pray for their leaders.

3.  Turn off the TV.

Pre-game coverage for the Super Bowl begins somewhere around seven months before the actual game begins.  And the thing is, all of the experts are saying the same thing.  Until kickoff, none of it really matters.  The media is in that stage right now.  Most of what you hear is mere speculation along with blind accusations.  You’re probably better off reading your news.  Just do it with a spirit of discernment.

4.  Hug your family.

I don’t know all of the details but I’m hearing that an eight-year-old was killed in the bombings.  I can’t begin to imagine what his family is going through.  Hugging your family won’t prevent something like this from happening to them or you.  But, if it does, it will let them know that you love them.

5.  Love lost people.

Jesus says that Christians have a light inside of them (Matthew 5:16).  In a world that is becoming more and more darkened by evil, it is no less evil when we keep our light hidden away.  We don’t need to make signs and scream at people about God’s wrath or love while they walk into Target.  All it takes is a conversation.

6.  Pray for God’s justice.

Look forward to the day when Jesus returns and there are no more terrorist attacks (Revelation 21:1-4).  But until then, pray for Jesus to protect us from evil (Matthew 6:13) and to redeem the evil that has been done to us (Genesis 45:5).

Come quickly, Lord Jesus.