How timely this is right now, when race protests are happening all over America!
Our nation has writhed under racial crises since the end of the Civil War…that’s 155 years. Race was the underlying cause that triggered that Civil War, when our forefathers gave up on political compromise to protect their rights as individuals who were enslaving other humans. Since that was defeated, we have dealt with the aftermath of a sin that we mistakenly assume is ingrained in our American DNA.
What are we going to do about setting things right in America? How can we overcome attitudes about race and get to the point where we treat each other as full equals even though we have different skin colors and different backgrounds? What can we do to change? I have yet to hear any media culture, protest leaders, or politicians offer anything constructive to address these questions.
The ONLY way to heal our divisions is by embracing Christ. The ONLY way to implement real change, seek true justice, is to start by following Jesus. My politics, my views, my defenses of things I believe must all but put under the cross of Christ. He commends those who are willing to suffer by doing this. He works through those who are working in His name to spread God’s peace, love, and salvation. He strengthens people who are weary of standing with the strength to persevere, then overcome. Only through Jesus shall we overcome some day.
It isn’t an honorable, laudable thing to applaud people who do wrong. Riots, looting, killing, violence: anyone who applauds, or even justifies, these things is going against the love of Jesus. This must be defeated.
But it IS an honorable, praiseworthy thing to stand up for one’s rights, even more to stand up for the rights of people who are persecuted, especially when it isn’t you. It is Godly, Jesus-like behavior to sympathize with the oppressed and use your life in ways to help them. You and I can’t change what has happened in the past, but we can make sure the future doesn’t repeat it.
The only way for that to work is for the love of Jesus to be our starting and ending point. We can’t do it based on politics, or for revenge, or “social justice,” or any other human reason. If we try anything but going to God first, we will fail and the past will repeat itself. By truly seeing each other as Jesus sees us – as His brothers and sisters – we will surely succeed. And then, through Christ, we shall overcome.
For further reading: Romans 5:3-5, 1 Peter 2:21
Lord Jesus, I’ve sinned against You. Forgive me, heal me, and teach me again how to truly love my fellow man.