Social Injustice and Loving Relationships
Building on last week’s post, we find ourselves in a culture that is wrestling with how to deal with and as best we can delete (or at least diminish) social injustice and inequalities in an imperfect world.
I talked about the need to be sure as Christ followers that we not get caught up in the heat or emotion of the moment, practicing a compassion that does not align with God’s Truth. And by the way, there is a place for proper anger…”Be angry and sin not,” Paul tells us in Ephesians 4:26. A simple way to recognize the difference in our own lives and others is that anger for a just cause and ultimately the wellbeing of others is acceptable in God’s sight. Anger that is mendacious and malicious, used without thought for the good of others, or with intent to harm others, is evil and not acceptable to God.
We need to be willing to uphold His Truth and that begins by asking ourselves, and those who are jumping on the passion-driven bandwagons, “Do you fully know what cause or causes are being espoused or demanded?” If there are agendas and causes contrary to God’s Word and Truth principles, we must reject pushing for them. If they are intertwined with agendas not in line with His Word, and/or are hijacking agendas that are in line with His Truth, then we are obligated as followers to do the tough work of mining the issues and peeling back the layers to find the right ones to defend or correct and then take action accordingly!
Is Colin Kaepernick still standing against systemic violence against blacks, which we must assess and do all we can to remedy accordingly? Another question would be is he (and all those who are standing against black oppression) willing to join forces with others who may appear to stand for the same thing but the end result may be more oppressive than the current state? Finally, is it possible that those who claim to be standing for this cause really have a different endgame in mind? Passion without focus, control and direction creates zealots…and for Christ followers, isn’t it revealing that He calls us to go make disciples, not zealots.
He knew that we could drive ourselves into a frenzy in our flesh or self-focused desires but in bringing that passion in line with His Truth and Love through discipline would not only help us learn to love one another as He loved us but also point the world to Him!
OK, one more question…this one for Coach Stoops and his University of KY Football staff (and many others who have jumped on the bandwagons)…are you really standing and protesting for what you think your standing and protesting for? If you’re not sure, and especially if the ulterior motives and agendas are not in line with God’s Truths, then we may be doing much more damage than good.
Let’s be sure that we are standing up for those that are oppressed and building loving relationships with all our fellow human beings, especially our black brothers and sisters and all those who look different or have a different skin color. That truly goes both ways if we are to work toward a world of equality, unity and love.
BTW – this only applies to those who are Christ followers and as such are willing to live according to His principles of Truth and Love! If you do not claim Christ and His standards then they don’t apply to you…but the outcomes and fruit will still bring great destruction and suffering. His Truth is never compromised.
For those of us who are His disciples, we are not absolved from standing firm for that Truth and working to build loving relationships that reflect it.
If we simply get caught up in the frenzy of the moment and fail to discern the issues then we fail to build relationships and call for change that betters our communities and culture. And we have not followed His commands to love as He did.
The most important thing, according to God’s Word, is that we learn to Love…Him, ourselves and others and we only do the latter by dying to ourselves according to His Word and example on The Cross. Love is the answer as many songs refer to but not the love of the world…the Love of our Lord. We can do many good works as defined by the culture and completely miss what’s most important. We need to nail it on both counts…in the here and now and Eternity. He’s shown us how to do that.
As we are faithful to follow through and know Him as Savior and Lord for eternity, we are, in the here and now, His disciples that bring His Love to all others and work together to remedy the oppression and injustice that only His Truth can resolve…we are the ones He has entrusted to walk in His Word and do His work, showing the world His Love. Relationships are most important and they begin by knowing Him.
As I quoted to wrap up last week’s LIVE, Jesus’ prophetic words in Matthew 7:21-23 orders our priorities, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only those who do the will of my Father in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”
There are billions of dollars and millions of people, made in God’s image, that serve their fellow man every year around the globe as an overflow of their fleshly compassion, but do not know Jesus as Lord. Let’s be careful not to waste our service and funds for things that won’t last. It must be an overflow of our surrender, sacrifice, and obedience to Christ as Lord as we share His Truth by our lives as His disciples. Otherwise, we risk adding to the multitude that do not know Him.
Is He your Savior and Lord? His Word is very clear that He has made the way through Christ. It is also very clear that He has saved you to be in relationship with Him and the only way you can be in that relationship is to know Him as Lord…as His disciple. Don’t miss out by claiming Him as Savior and not knowing Him as Lord.
Beware of anything that competes with loyalty to Jesus Christ. The greatest competitor of devotion to Jesus is service for Him. It is easier to serve than to be drunk to the dregs. The one aim of the call of God is the satisfaction of God, not a call to do something for Him. We are not sent to battle for God, but to be used by God in His battlings. Are we being more devoted to service than to Jesus Christ? Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest
The world doesn’t get it. Passion without Truth is enough for them. As we consider, as Christ followers, who and how we are to serve our fellow man, remember it must be in line with His Truth and done in His Love. The only way we can change the world around us and battle the oppression and injustice in our culture is to build relationships with others in His Truth that sets us free (John 8:31-32) and His Love that never fails (1 Corinthians 13:8a). The way we do that is to know and love Him as Lord.
Every other relationship will reflect whether He is Lord of your life or not. You can be assured that He is and that He is blessing you to be a blessing to others as you serve Him and them. That’s how discipleship is lived out — in relationships. We have a tremendous opportunity to do this in the chaos of our culture today!
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Make it a great day and God bless in Christ!
Love and Lordship…Food for Thought – Loving relationships are essential for us to overcome the chaos and turmoil in our world today. The greatest relationship must be with God in Christ. All other relationships that can overcome oppression and injustice come will flow from our walking in His Love and Lordship.
Love and Lordship…Action Item(s) – 1) Analyze your place of employment and/or board. Make meaningful changes to battle oppression and injustice. 2) Donate to an under-resourced, minority-led, Gospel based, inner-city church or organization. Get involved with them in some way. 3) Offer Biblically based relationship, financial, business, skills and other training. 4) If able, look for/connect with those in need for jobs, mortgages, start-ups. 5) Find someone in your sphere of connections (neighborhood, workplace, other) that is different skin tone that you and build a lasting relationship.
Don’t just serve…build loving relationships!