Christ’s love frees us from cycles of hatred and despair

By April 15, 2024

Lebanon (MNN) — Galatians 3:28 says that all Christians are one in Christ Jesus, unified above ethnic and social labels.

That’s the principle Heart for Lebanon stands on in the deeply divided Middle East. 

“The question you want to ask (is), ‘How can you get people on a Sunday morning to sit in one room and worship Jesus Christ?’” says says Elio Constantine with Heart for Lebanon. “(Keep) in mind that these people have been programmed and brainwashed for centuries and centuries that from a human perspective, they should be enemies.”

(Photo courtesy Heart for Lebanon)

Heart for Lebanon’s Middle East Center for Justice and Missions advocates for biblical responses to injustice, for the glory of God. They want people to discover how to break these cycles of violence and hatred.

“The answer is easier said than done: It’s through Christ and Christ alone,” Constantine says. “How do we do that? Through unconditional love, patience, grace, and mercy.”

Their team goes out and befriends families from different ethnic backgrounds in Lebanon — whether Syrian, Kurdish, Lebanese and others. They spend countless hours visiting, offering prayer, giving aid and showing true friendship. 

Their love has led to hearts opening to the gospel and two diverse churches gathering. 

These principles of love are Christ-centered. Constantine says they can be applied anywhere in the world.

(Photo courtesy Heart For Lebanon)

“That’s what The Middle East Center for Justice and Missions is here to advocate for. We’re here to show the picture, to show our experience, what we have done in Lebanon, how we — now, God never tells us any indicator of success — but what our hard work has yielded,” Constantine says. 

Would you take this unfolding story into your own heart? Consider who you perceive as an enemy, or who you have been taught is your enemy. Then, commit yourself to obey Christ and show your “enemies” the same love He has given you. (See 2 Corinthians 5:11-21 about this “ministry of reconciliation.”)

“That is the only way to move past and break the cycle of hatred and despair that we’ve been living in globally,” says Constantine.

“Anywhere on planet Earth, the answer is simple. But the work is much harder. We need to have the intention and the discipline to show love unconditionally to anyone we meet along the road.”





Header photo courtesy of Heart for Lebanon.

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