Five Principles to Prevent Violence
By Lynn Everett McBride Executive Director Central Kansas Prison Ministry
#1 Respect other people and their property.
Matthew 7:12 reads, So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
This principle of Biblical respect goes from the home, to the street and to the school. The concept is supported by many religions in the world, yet it is one of the most violated moral laws of the human race.
Instead, we have entered into the pattern of what is mine is mine and what is yours is mine, compound that with the me first thinking.
When it comes to street violence, the humanistic law that prevails is, you have more than I have and so I am going to take it.
Out of that comes the gang mentality that encourages breaking windows and stealing to get what is wanted.
This attitude cannot be fixed with the legal justice system. Sure, they can punish, but that will not change the heart. Jesus spoke more about loving others than almost any other subject. Why? If we dont respect other people, we can never respect ourselves or God who created us.
#2 Restore the family.
Ephesians 6:2, Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment
A personal story: A child of a family member went to school and came back home crying. She was the only kid in the classroom with just one mother and father and all the other kids had several.
Ideal homes are made up of one man and one woman for one lifetime.
Ideal is not always possible or plausible. The truth is, in many families dad is gone and mom is doing her best. But the kids become angry, finding someone to love them and be there for them.
Research has shown that a family that is
made up of a dad, who is solid in his Christian faith, blended
with a mother, who is caring and loving - is the ideal.
So in America, what do we do? The home is almost broken beyond repair. The answer is Changing America one family at a time. You and I must reach out to our neighbors and hurting families.
#3 Work with those in authority. When leadership says, Stop, then stop.
Romans 13:1 & 5, Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist, have been established by God. (5)?Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.
Years ago, I learned this principle from my dad. He was strong in discipline, never abusive, but it only took a glance across the room for me to stop what I was doing. I respected his authority and age.
As a teenager, I pushed the limit and was stopped by the police several times. Never did I consider shooting at them, or swearing at them, or throwing rocks. They had the authority to jail me with consequences to follow.
Personally, I think the lack of authority happened when we took discipline out of the schools and teachers are not permitted to reprimand children.
Where do we fix this? Obedience must be fixed in both in the home and school. Children need to experience the discomfort of disobedience," because if tthey do not experience discipline as a child, they will often experience it someday in a prison setting.
#4 Learn the job skills of dress, behavior and communication.
Ecclesiastes 5:18, ... it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun...
In our world today, people do not know how to dress, behave themselves, or speak properly to get a job. Long hair, body piercing, markings and profanity, does not work in many of the market places. Add to that, the lack of education and it leaves a person trying to find other ways to survive.
I often hear people say, If they dont like the way I look and talk, then I dont need the job.
None of us are islands to ourselves. We need and depend on other people. In the job pool today, the competition is enormous with hundreds of people applying for one job. The employer looks at all possibilities and if a person isnt at his or her best, then they are often passed over.
#5 Become a survivor leader.
Hebrews 2:18, Because He himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted.
Jesus went through a lot of experiences so he could help others go through the same thing.
If a person has been through a certain affliction, job loss, lack of education, or prison time, then they could help others go through the same thing. Once you survive, you can say, This is how it is done.
Evaluate what you have been through and ask, How and who can I help?
While these suggestions are not absolutes or exhaustible possibilities, I believe they are a point of beginning. Politicians and educators keep wringing their hands with dismay.
Why not turn parents and school-teachers loose to raise a child in the way he or she should really go?