By now you have witnessed or heard about the cries for justice. We have to realize first that this war on racism and injustice is not just natural—it’s spiritual. We cannot overcome hate with hate, but we must overcome hate with love. Upholding the rights of the oppressed is an act of love, which we are instructed to do as believers.
“Give justice to the poor and the orphan; uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute.” - Psalms 82:3 NLT
The Bible says in the book of Isaiah that God loves justice! To fear the Lord is to love what He loves and hate what He hates. So the only bias I have is towards righteousness. My allegiance is to not to a political party but to the God of the universe whose kingdom trumps all parties.
“Blessed [spiritually calm with life-joy in God’s favor] are the makers and maintainers of peace, for they will [express His character and] be called the sons of God.”
Matthew 5:9 AMP
We cannot make it our goal to divide. We must make our goal to unify. We must come together because where there is unity the Lord commands the blessing, and life evermore.
History teaches us that at one time black people were considered ⅗ of a person. And still many didn’t consider them people but property. The dehumanization of a race took place. Once slaves were freed, Jim Crow laws were introduced to remind blacks that they still weren’t as good as their white counterparts. My father grew up in the south in Tuskegee, Alabama. He lived through segregation as a young man and still tells me stories of his experiences. To me it serves as a sobering reminder that we are only a few generations removed from this ideology. The result of that have been implicit cultural memories, unspoken emotions and feelings passed on from generation to generation, that still haunt the black community and society at large. The black community is still fighting to feel whole again.
Recently I learned of a study that was conducted with 135 preschool teachers. They told the teachers to watch a monitor that showed four preschool aged students: one black boy, one black girl, one white boy, and one white girl. They asked the teachers to be on the lookout for bad behavior. Using eye-tracking software they we able to track the movements of the eyes of the teachers watching the students.
The Bible says that the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy but I (Jesus) have come that you might have life more abundantly. The enemy’s playbook is first offense, then division, and finally destruction. This is not just a natural battle we are fighting. This is a spiritual battle against racism and ultimately division.
“When peacemakers plant seeds of peace, they will harvest justice.” -James 3:18 CEV
God loves Justice and He will give us peace. He said He would never leave us or forsake us, yet some of us have left Him. That’s why the struggle has been so hard. The Lord says, “…vengeance is mine… and I will repay” (Heb. 10:30). He said this because He knew that vengeance takes too much of a toll on the human spirit. Vengeance in the hands of man turns into revenge. Therefore we have to keep our eyes fixed on what lies ahead. This is not about getting revenge for past failures of the justice system. This is about looking towards the future for what we need the justice system to look like.
It’s time to change it. It’s time to change laws. It’s time to change policies. It’s time to create a system where blacks are not consistently oppressed, but they are given every opportunity to succeed. A system where blacks are no longer targeted but they are empowered.
If we want to have the conversation about defunding police, we need to carry the conversation into community accountability. We cannot be shooting each other in our own communities. We cannot be stealing from and vandalizing our own businesses. The code of silence has become the code of violence. Right is right no matter the color of your skin. There used to be a time when people left doors unlocked, neighbors looked out for each other, and we collectively upheld the moral laws that governed the community. We must return back to that! There has been a failure in leadership. But now an opportunity stands before us.
Protesting is only the start. But what are we going to do when the protest ends? The biggest myth is thinking that your decisions aren’t affecting anyone. In fact they are affecting everyone. Your decision to get your law degree and help people who look like you who can’t afford legal representation matters. Your decision to open a small business and employ those in the community matters. Your decision to get your degree to become an educator so you can be a superintendent of a school district, bringing a more diverse curriculum to the classroom—so our kids are reading real history and not one that has been whitewashed of its sins and sanitized by corporate America. Your decision to go into politics to control funding and legislation, or your decision to go into law enforcement to truly serve and protect the community you call home…all of that matters. Those decisions matter because those decisions save black lives and even empower black lives. The way you live your life will decide if black lives really matter to you. They certainly matter to God.
I don’t ever claim to not see color, because I do see it...in fact I love all the colors. If someone claims to “not see color” how can they ever claim to enjoy diversity? Diversity is predicated on the acknowledgment that we are different. And we should love each other more because of our differences.
Being black was not a choice, so having to live as a person of color should not be a death sentence. It’s time to promote love, healing, unity, equality, and hope. It may seem hard to find hope in the midst of pandemics and protests. But hope is here and always has been. Hope doesn’t have a color, but hope has a name…. His name is Jesus.
Jesus, please help us to love others as you have loved us. Amen.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
“But I saw to you, Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” - Matthew 5:44
Want to know more about this topic? Check out this great video below!