It has been almost two weeks since the police shooting in Dallas. Whether you live in the DFW area or not, I am sure you noticed that you can’t have a civil conversation about police, race, Islam, etc. For many this has stirred up some deep emotions. For some it takes them back to how they or someone they love was mistreated by law enforcement. For others it stirs up negative feelings about race. For still others, it reveals hatred towards Muslims.
The layers of this onion are so thick that every word that is spoken strikes a nerve with someone. It is hard to be immersed in a culture where this conversation is going on and not be emotionally involved. It hurts! Our security has been rattled. It is hard to listen to comments that are only meant to bait people into an angry discussion. How is a Christian supposed to act?
Here is my suggestion, we must start with ourselves first. Any true believer in Jesus knows that Jesus died for their sin. Jesus redeemed and empowered us to live as better people. Most do not realize that He died for our pain as well.
At the cross, He took it all! He has empowered us to overcome what has happened to us. He has empowered us to forgive, to love people who do not love us back. He has empowered us to live a life of supernatural freedom regardless of the circumstances we are in. He empowers us to love those who have hurt us. He can even heal all of our emotional wounds as well.
The apostle Paul told the Roman church, “Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2).”
First, by the mercy of God. Submit to His mercy, do not hold anything back. Tell Him He can have your pain, whatever it is. If an attitude is sinful, tell Jesus to take it. Tell Him to destroy the desire within you to hold onto the grudge or the hate you hold in your heart. Forgive the person, who hurt you by praying for them.
Another translations says, “Do not be conformed to the patterns of this world.” Have you noticed the pattern. Scroll through your Facebook feed. You will see anger and hate. Go to your favorite news channel. They just keep stirring the pot. Don’t quit doing those things but spend time in God’s Word and prayer. Break the pattern!
Christians have to be able to have a conversation about race and violence. If we can’t their is no hope for anyone else to have a reasonable discussion. It is a great opportunity to be their for others, pray for them and show them what our God can do. Is our Jesus too small? Surely not!