• Home /
  • Blog /
  • Myanmar tragedy another opportunity to “do unto others”

Myanmar tragedy another opportunity to “do unto others”

A recent New York Times article reports that, even as possible casualties from the cyclone that hit Myanmar approach 100,000, there is still resistance by its almost totalitarian government to allow foreign aid, and especially American aid.

The American government has, in the past, expressed its displeasure with Myanmar's suppression of democracy by imposing various economic embargoes against the country. And, even now, the American government is insisting that its relief experts be allowed to enter the country along with donations of American aid, presumably to avoid abuse or favoritism by the Myanmar government in the distribution of these donations.

Meanwhile, the United States navy has ships waiting offshore ready to deliver supplies by helicopter to the affected areas. Why? Why wouldn't America just say, "Fine. If you don't want our help, then you won't get it." Or why doesn't America just say, "If your people starve, you will be getting what you asked for, because you have been purposefully building walls between yourself and the free world for years."

The answer, I think, is in the inertia of the collective American mindset, continuing from when America was founded with the influence of -- and for many years afterward operated out of -- Christian principles. Jesus said,

"I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye?" (Matthew 5:43-45).

Paul similarly commands us "Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good" (Romans 12:21).

America, while certainly not a Christian nation, is still -- many times unwittingly -- influenced by the power of the simple, biblical principles which motivated so many of her founding fathers. And so America continues to offer aid to a nation that is spitting in our face. And we should!The Myanmar situation reminds me of an experience that a pastor friend of mine had, as he was flying back from evangelistic work in the Philippines several years ago. He describes a conversation that he had with a fellow passenger:

On the long flight home, I was seated by a man who was apparently extremely wealthy. He owned factories in several nations. His knowledge of the world and its various countries, their governments, their societies and their economies, was very impressive. He was Indian and born in India but now a U.S. citizen. He was extremely patriotic. In fact, he was making monthly trips to the Philippines attempting to move some of his factories in China to the Philippines. He claimed that this move would hurt his profitability, but that he considered China an enemy to America and he was not going to support it any further.

He expressed disappointment that other American businessmen were not doing the same.He expressed his concern that America was being destroyed by its own lawyers and by irresponsible people. But he told me to appreciate this: That America is the most compassionate nation in the world; that it will sacrifice itself to free others; that it will even put food in the mouths of its enemies. He thought this is why America is great. The rest of the world, he said, is generally heartless and self-serving. I believe his analysis concerning America is right...

As the shoreline of America came in view, the excitement of my fellow passenger became very visible. It was as though he was approaching holy ground. It was beautiful to me also, but seeing this in a former foreigner, and in a man who made such trips monthly, enabled me to see just how much that I will never be able to see concerning what God has done for all of us!

Myanmar is one more opportunity for us to overcome evil with good, to love our enemies, to do good to them that hate us.

[For more on what Christians can do in America see the post Righteousness exalts a nation.]

Resource: 'Finding Grace' Blog Categories: Christian Living, Finding Grace, Worldview and Ethics

Share This Resource:

Tweet

[For more on what Christians can do in America see the post Righteousness exalts a nation.]

Resource: 'Finding Grace' Blog Categories: Christian Living, Finding Grace, Worldview and Ethics

Share This Resource:

Tweet

[For more on what Christians can do in America see the post Righteousness exalts a nation.]