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Human history is filled with violence. Will this tragic record continue indefinitely?

How does God view violence?


Many, including religious people, feel that violence is a justifiable response to provocation. And millions consider media violence to be an acceptable form of entertainment.


Near the city of Mosul, in northern Iraq, lie the ruins of a once great city​—Nineveh, the capital of the ancient Assyrian Empire. While the city was still a thriving metropolis, the Bible foretold that God would “make Nineveh desolate.” (Zephaniah 2:13) “I will make a spectacle of you,” God said. The reason? Nineveh was a “city of bloodshed.” (Nahum 1:1; 3:1, 6) And “Jehovah detests violent . . . people,” states Psalm 5:6. As Nineveh’s ruins testify, God acted on his words.

Violence originated with the archenemy of both God and man​—Satan the Devil, whom Jesus Christ called “a murderer.” (John 8:44) Moreover, because “the whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one,” his traits are reflected in popular attitudes toward violence, including the world’s infatuation with media violence. (1 John 5:19) To please God, we must cultivate a hatred for violence and a love for what God loves. * Is that possible?

“Jehovah . . . hates anyone who loves violence.”​Psalm 11:5.

Can violent people change?


Violence is simply a reflection of human nature, which does not change.


Put away “wrath, anger, badness, abusive speech, and obscene talk.” It also says: “Strip off the old personality with its practices, and clothe yourselves with the new personality.” (Colossians 3:8-10) Is God asking too much of us? No. People can change. * How?

The first step is gaining an accurate knowledge of God. (Colossians 3:10)  When a person with a receptive heart learns about our Creator’s appealing qualities and standards, he is drawn to God in love and wants to please him.​—1 John 5:3.

The second step is related to our choice of associates. “Do not keep company with a hot-tempered man or get involved with one disposed to rage, so that you never learn his ways and ensnare yourself.”​—Proverbs 22:24, 25.

The third step involves insight. See the inclination toward violence for what it is​—a serious weakness that reflects a lack of self-control. The peaceable, by comparison, have inner strength. “The one slow to anger is better than a mighty man,” says Proverbs 16:32.

“Pursue peace with all people.”​Hebrews 12:14.

Will violence ever end?


Violence has always been with us and always will be.


“Just a little while longer, and the wicked will be no more . . . But the meek will possess the earth, and they will find exquisite delight in the abundance of peace.” (Psalm 37:10, 11) Yes, in order to save the meek and peaceable, God will do to lovers of violence what he did to ancient Nineveh. Thereafter, violence will never again mar the earth!​—Psalm 72:7.

“The mild-tempered . . . will inherit the earth.”​—Matthew 5:5

Now, therefore, is the time to seek God’s favor by cultivating a peaceful disposition. Says 2 Peter 3:9: “Jehovah . . . is patient with you because he does not desire anyone to be destroyed but desires all to attain to repentance.”

“They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning shears.”​Isaiah 2:4.

^ par. 7 God did allow ancient Israel to engage in war in order to defend its territory. (2 Chronicles 20:15, 17) That situation changed, however, when God terminated his covenant with Israel and established the Christian congregation, which has no borders.

^ par. 11 Examples of people who changed their ways can be found in the series “The Bible Changes Lives,” featured in The Watchtower.