Progressing toward a Just Peace

In the Jewish and Christian Scriptures there is development of spiritual, moral and social thought.  Ideas of justice and peace are not the same from beginning to end.  In Genesis 4, Lamech avenges himself 77-fold. In Exodus, Moses states that justice requires an eye for an eye, thus developing a differentiation between vengeance and justice.  In the prophets like Isaiah and later in Jesus’ teachings a just peace requires forgiveness and a view for the future that includes a greater good for all.

Unfortunately, there are precious view examples of people, much less nations, that have been able to forgive and move forward toward a just peace for all.  It requires a willingness to stop looking back to learn from the past but not to aggravate the felt hurts.

If we are physically wounded we do not keep picking at the wound.  We let it heal.  Yet spiritually and psychologically that is not what we do.  We go beyond reminding ourselves and others that we were hurt. We relive it in ways that freshen the pain.  Healing will only take place when we let it heal.  The scar is enough reminder that something happened from which we learned greater care and caution.  We won’t forget, but we can forgive and go on.

Our sacred texts show that spirituality is progressive.  This needs to be true in the lives of individuals as well as religions.

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