“Hi church, Pastor Todd here.
I feel I need to take some time to address what has happened and is happening in our country.
Like you, I’ve been watching the recent events unfold over the last year and specifically over the last few weeks and I have to tell you, I’m emotionally exhausted.
I hear of Dallas police officers are shot and killed by someone who used to proclaim himself as a christ-follower, only to let his anger and rage take over.
I hear of a Black Lives Matter group blocking traffic on I-35W, putting themselves in danger but also delaying an ambulance also causing an hour plus delay for commuters.
I hear of shootings and arrests and terrorist activities like those recently in Turkey and France and I’m emotionally exhausted.
Like you, my emotions run the gamut from being Angry and frustrated to being hopeful and trusting — reminding myself that God is well aware of what’s going on in the hearts of all Americans and in the fabric of our society.
So what do i do as the church. what do you do as the church?
I want to give you three things for you to consider in your context — where you live.
First, and this is important to hear — you don’t shy away from the conversation but you do it with humility and love.
The political debates can get heated. The arguments among groups of people you know can lead to broken dialogue and relationships…
And often, you and I approach these situations in unhealthy ways.
I have to confess that I’ve fallen into sin by taking to Social Media and voicing my opinion in a way that was not designed to help,
but instead, to try to convince others that I’m right — they’re wrong and worst, I’ve ranted in a spirit of anger.
Church, that isn’t biblical. that isn’t Godly and I confess it.
No, we aren’t going to agree on everything with everybody. Yes, we have a right to our opinions and beliefs about issues affecting our Country.
But, as Christ-followers, you and I don’t have a right to be sinful if or when we enter into the conversation.
Instead, you and I need to take a deep breath and filter everything through the question, “How would Jesus speak to this event, or would he? How would Jesus address this issue?”
After all, aren’t we Jesus -followers?
In Jesus day, inequalities were way worse that we’re experiencing today.
In his day, societal change and pressure was happening all around and the disciples’ natural reaction was violence and anger and fear — just like us today.
But Jesus looked at people as broken yet beautiful.
He looked at people as lost, yet loved and he gave his life for them and for you. I just think we need to get back to seeing people the way Jesus does.
All of us fly off the handle because we feel an injustice has been done to us but the solution isn’t retaliation, violence or anger.
One solution is what I saw happened in Dallas during a Black lives matter rally where a group of whites staged a counter protest across the street from theirs.
Representatives from both groups agreed to meet in the middle of the street on the median but then the Black Lives Matter total protest group crossed the street and they all began to hug.
Humility … love … agreeing to disagree and being okay with that.
Second, you don’t allow fear and disgust to overtake you. There is no doubt that things have changed in America. It isn’t the same country as when I grew up or when my parents and their parents before them. It can be overwhelming and scary.
But we have to claim the truth that God did not give us a spirit of fear. He gave us a spirit of power and of love and of a good mind.
We as a church have a powerful message of hope. We carry the life-changing message of God’s love shown in and through Christ.
God has given us a good-mind to use good judgment in how we enter the conversation… if at all. Again, even in the disagreements, we follow Christ.
Third, (and this is more of an understanding rather than an action), you don’t change the hearts of people — only the Holy spirit does that.
Church, in situations of turmoil and national upheaval, God calls us to stand for the truth of his love to all people and to simply proclaim that. Then, It is up to the Holy Spirit to change people’s hearts, not you … not me. and that is a great thing!
Church, I invite you to continue to pray and pray hard for our country and it’s leadership.
Pray for our church locally and nationally as we try to be lights in the darkness of this world.
Pray for your enemies as well as your friends and ask God to cultivate a Christ-like heart in the soil of your character.
See ya Sunday.”
[The book I’m writing this year is called “Anchored – Finding Stability In A World Adrift”. If you’d like to receive free advanced chapters and be notified when its available, sign up below — I’ll send you a portion of the book’s proposal right away!]
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