It has been said that the opposite of fear is not bravery but love; after all perfect love casts out fear according to scripture. The ultimate expression of fear is terror and right now America is dealing with the effects of terror.

I would like to preface this thought with the understanding that there is a difference between personal responsibility and national responsibility, the love and righteousness I am referring to is all about the personal.

Jesus told us that our righteousness must exceed that of the Pharisees, he was referring to more than just our actions but to the way that we think and what is in our heart.

As tends to be common these days the murders of San Bernardino are driving people to the extremes. On one end we have presidential candidate Donald Trump advocating reporting any and all suspicious behavior of Muslims real or imagined and on the other end you have the mouse in the White House claiming that the Islamic state is not Islamic.

The correct understanding is that without Jesus Christ we can all be overrun by our selfishness and hatred. The teachings of Islam do include world domination and the extermination of infidels or unbelievers.

But the believer in Jesus Christ must be willing to set aside his or her fear in favor of love to reach those who are blinded by the false god of this world. It is our responsibility to share the good news that Jesus loves them too.

On a national level we should use wisdom when deciding who should enter our country and become our neighbor but the reality is that once they are here, they are our neighbors and we must love them as Jesus commanded. We should still take precautions to protect our homes and families in reasonable ways from those that mean us harm but at the same time we should be active in showing love and compassion.

None of this is easy but then again Jesus always raises the bar doesn’t he? He was the one who taught us that murder included what was in our heart, even malice and slander. So while we should not be deceived by the enemy, we will not let him win either and we will show love as the Lord gives us opportunity.