DEFCON 5: Lowest State of Readiness
If you are familiar with the DEFCON (defense-ready condition) levels, 5 is the lowest state of readiness for war. This level is usually the status when there is no threat of war and everyone is at peace. Romans 12:9-21 shows what it means to be in a beautiful place with each other in the world. It's a world full of peace and forgiveness toward others and a genuine love for others that we don't quite understand in today's society.
In these verses, you are directed to love those who persecute you and let God handle the vengeance.
With all the news, social media interactions, protests, and acts of violence, this form of peace seems as foreign as having a third eye. But keep in mind that Paul wrote Romans while in a prison cell for three years before being tried and convicted. When you read these passages, you would assume Paul is sitting on a front porch with some sweet iced tea reflecting on how beautiful life could be if we got along with each other.
So while you may be going through something (not quite as severe as a prison) that affects your perception and response to those around you, we are called to respond in love and kindness to others no matter what. Have you ever said things like this?
Some have intentionally hurt me, and I don't want to love them.
I've forgiven that person so many times already; I don't want to do it again.
They should apologize to me because they were the ones who hurt me.
Relationships can be complicated and while there is no easy answer to reconciliation, love, and forgiveness is always there to be had.
Do you have someone in your life who you feel like you can't love or forgive because of what they've done to you?
Have you tried to live in peace with each other?
I challenge you to take a moment and reflect on those people in your life who you may need to forgive and start loving again. Pray for God to speak to you and your heart about the healing process and help you take the next steps toward peace.