ANSWER TO VIOLENCE


STANDING STRONG THROUGH THE STORM

ANSWER TO VIOLENCE
==================
When they kept on questioning him, he
straightened up and said to them, “Let
any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” John
8:7

“Get dressed and come
along, we have a traitor we are going to necklace. We
have a tire, a bottle of petrol and matches.” The group of angry youths at the
door did not even
give their South African youth leader, Julia, a chance
to
protest.

Julia’s parents were Christians who tried to raise her in
the ways of the
Lord. She rebelled at an early age and mixed with bad
friends, abused drink
and drugs, and married a man who deserted her. As a
single parent she did her
utmost to find a job, but work and food was
scarce.

Julia joined a political party and participated in every
gathering in her
neighborhood. Violence, she thought, is the only solution to
the country’s and
her own problems. She was soon chosen as leader of a large
group of young
people who made their presence known in the
streets.

Nevertheless, Julia’s problems were not solved. Every day was
one long
struggle to keep body and soul together, to find employment and to
care for
her child. One day, things became too much. She realized that no
person could
help. “Lord,” she prayed in the dark, “if You truly are there,
as my parents
maintain You are, You must help me now.”

The Lord
answered her prayer. He laid His hand on this young woman and changed
her life. She would never again be alone without her Heavenly Father who cares
for her by her side. After her repentance she spent much time pondering
and
praying about her political aspirations and how she would handle her
youth
group.

That morning with the youths at her door, Julia got
dressed and accompanied
them to the man they wanted to execute by necklacing.
Julia says, “I did not
say anything. All that I could do was to pray and ask
the Lord, ‘What must I
do now?’

“Fortunately it wasn’t long before I
got an answer from the Lord. I scraped
all my courage together, looked at my
comrades and said, ‘If there is one of
you who has never made a mistake, who
is not a “sell-out,” let him fasten the
tire around the man’s neck, let him
set it alight.’

“Not a single one of the young people had an answer. One
by one they silently
parted and left me with the man who was to have been
executed. I asked him to
help me to carry away the tire and the rest of the
things. I never saw him
again.

“I must admit, I was quite afraid that
the young people would return to burn
down my house. However, God is great
and wonderful because nothing happened. I
am still their
leader.”

RESPONSE: Today I will be bold to live like Jesus when facing
difficult
situations.

PRAYER: Pray for young people caught in Satan’s
lie that violence is the
solution to their problems.

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