Charlottesville

Like all of you I have heard so much talk about the horrible bigotry that happened in Charlottesville, Virginia last week. I’ve read the posts and totally understand the outcry over the hatred and the violence. I share the concern with how much more polarized our country seems to be getting.

(If you have not heard what happened in Virginia last week it all started with a ‘Unite the right’ rally. This rally was organized by a white supremacist group. This group marched on the University of Virginia campus. During the march this group was met with counter protests and violence ensued).

As a Christian who believes the Bible I support and agree with the outcry. I think it is crystal clear that any form of racism is unbiblical and ungodly. We should speak up about racism as Christians. Think about this verse Galatians 3:28 says ‘There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus’.

As the father of an adopted African American son we, as a family, see the blind and ignorant hatred that exists in this world. We have seen and experienced hatred and ignorance first hand. So trust me, I understand the outcry. It’s right and appropriate to agree on the Biblical principle that racism is ungodly and unbiblical. To stand against racism and say ‘no’!

But practically speaking I am left with this question: What can I do everyday to make a difference in this world?

It’s one thing to speak out on social media and it’s another thing to be aware of how you and I personally treat others. Not only because of the color of their skin but for a multitude of other reasons. If we should respect others who are different than us, shouldn’t that respect and care extend beyond skin color?

So here’s a question I’ve been thinking of – how do I treat people that are different than me? How about you, how do you treat people? Do you notice and respect the folks that work in Walmart or McDonalds and treat them with kindness and patience even if they make mistakes? What about the guy stood next to you somewhere who smells? What about the people on the tread mill next to you who are speaking a different language? What about the kid sat in a restaurant booth next to you playing their tablet with the volume on full? What about the older person driving at 15mph below the speed limit?

Here it is in a few words – Do others see Christ in me and do others see Christ in you? Do you and I treat people with respect and kindness? Do you or I stop people when they gossip or slander someone else? Do you and I look for ways to be kind to others, especially those who are different than you or I? Let’s agree on reacting to racism as unbiblical, which we can all agree on and let’s start being kind to the people that are all around us.

This whole challenge is summed up with this verse – Phillippians 2:3 – “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”
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Be kind, compassionate and caring to others – do what you can do – for the poor – for those who are different than you – to the person who annoys you. Let’s do something more than the obvious and the expected – let’s stand out and give glory to God by being kind to all. Let’s stand together and speak out on racism but lets also show Christ lives in us by the way we treat others.

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