Sitting down to write this article, my mind is filled with all sorts of comments and questions that I would like to put before multiple groups of people in regards to COVID 19, George Floyd, riots and ridiculous calls to defund the police.

Comments and questions, that in my mind, if people would just hear and thoughtfully consider, would be a source of calming peace amidst a world of turmoil.

Then, reality sets in and I realize the arrogance and self-righteousness in thinking that even my most profound and well-articulated statements have any chance to bring about a massive change in society, let alone in a single individual.

To be honest, it is an irritation of mass proportion when there is a clear trend within our current world, where so many think that they have to weigh in on every situation and issue. It is amazing to watch some of the most spineless and gutless people get brazenly bold and downright rude when they sit behind some sort of screen. To quote Abraham Lincoln, "in times like the present, men should utter nothing for which they would not willingly be responsible through time and eternity."

It is however, important to know from where Abraham Lincoln got that principle. He got it from the one individual who does offer words that do have the power to conform individuals and cultures. In fact, the world has not been the same since He came over 2,000 years ago. He changed it then and He, and only He can change it now. It is with that, that I offer you these words said by Jesus and recorded in the gospel of Matthew for you to ponder.

Matthew 12:36-37 (NASB)

36: "But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment.

37: "For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."

Matthew 7:12 (NASB)

12: "In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

Matthew 5:3-12 (NASB)

3: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4: "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

5: "Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.

6: "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

7: "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

8: "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

9: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

10: "Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11: "Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.

12: "Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

It is my prayer for you, that these words of Jesus are words that have brought you a sense of peace and comfort in the middle of this storm. They are reflective of a God who loves and cares for all of you who are reading this brief article and are the only hope we have for bringing about true change within ourselves and our world.

— Pastor Mark Abel is the senior pastor at Southview Grace Brethren Church.