A word and thought regarding the recent news and injustice.
Matthew 9:36 (NKJV) – But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.
Jesus demonstrated to us that you don’t necessarily have to feel exactly what someone is feeling to be compassionate about what they are feeling or going through.
It would be dishonest of me to say that I do not feel affected in a particular way when I see the faces of people such as George Floyd, Ahmaud Aubrey, Trayvon Martin and so many more. Knowing that people are being treated differently and worse still, killed because of the way they look and knowing that look resembles cousins of mine, uncles of mine and even resembles what my sons could look like when they grow up.
But I think what is even more important is that if I were not born this colour or this race, by virtue of being part of one race, being the Human Race and having been created by one Father, being our Heavenly Father, any instance of injustice should have an impact, regardless. Anything in opposition to God’s goodness is an issue of importance and action for us all. One issue is not more unjust than the other simply because it feels closer to home. I think about the fact that Jesus, for example, was quite obviously not a woman caught in adultery but He defended one and made her issues His issue. He was the one and only person qualified to throw the first stone but instead he used the opportunity to teach compassion, the importance of putting away hypocrisy and the power of putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and standing up for what is right.
That said, it takes Godly wisdom to know exactly what is right – there are so many questions:
- Do you risk burdening the NHS and the innocent staff trying to do their best in order to peacefully protest outdoors?
- Do you not protest and perhaps therefore remain silence on a matter that is as important as innocent lives being lost cruelly and unjustly?
- Do you penalise a whole police force because of the acts of rogues/ bad apples within it?
- Do you penalise a whole race because of stereotypes and prejudice thoughts?
- What do you do when the uglier thought patterns of the past that you thought only existed in history books show themselves as still existing in our present?
- How do stand up for justice effectively?
- How are you able to be angry but not sin?
- How do you elevate from emotion to action that makes a difference even if it is just a ripple in a very large river?
- How do you not end up feeling so powerless that you retire into passivity?
Outside of the issue of race, without the grace and the blessing of seeing people through the eyes of Jesus, all of us can very easily fall into the temptation of judging the value of a person by their difference e.g. their level of education, their level of finance, the kind of house they live in, the kind of car they drive, the kind of job they have or don’t have, their appearance, their way of dressing, the way they speak and the list goes on and on.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (KJV)
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
3-6 The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ.
Prayer: Lord God, please help us not to make difference a value judgment. Help us to know that our differences, whatever they may be, are an asset and often demonstrate the creativity of a God who is so diverse that He did, has and continues to pay such attention to detail and the beauty of difference that He takes the time to make the eye and fingerprint of each and every human being different from the other. Thank you God that you love each and every one of our differences so dearly You know the number of hairs on each and every one of our heads!
Heavenly Father, may we not exalt or put anything above the knowledge of You, help us to bring what we see, what we do and most importantly we think into alignment with all that is good, just and Godly, amen.