How Does a Christian Live Like a Christian in Such a Time as This?
I wish I could have written the letter that I had planned to this month. It was filled with celebration, joy, thanksgiving, and gratitude for how God has marvelously worked to change lives, answer prayers, restore marriages and families, and bring loved ones to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
My heart was overflowing and in awe of God’s goodness and provision as so many of you gave so generously and sacrificially in June.
Then our world dramatically changed for the second time in 2020. Just as our country began to open up and we hoped for a “new normal,” George Floyd’s horrific death ignited a response to racial injustice across America and around the world.
“He who answers before listening – that is his folly and his shame.”
Thousands filled our cities in peaceful protests. Others responded with violence, destruction, and looting. Social media exploded; hate, blame, and anger filled our screens and phones. We are a fractured nation. The racial, political, and social divide threatens the very foundation of our existence—“one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
What’s our role? How should we respond and not respond? How do we hear God’s voice and God’s direction in the midst of all the noise, emotion, hate, and blaming? How do we avoid the dual threats of “passive silence” on one hand and “misguided activism” on the other?
These are the questions I’ve been asking myself, asking God, and processing with wise, godly leaders with very different backgrounds, perspectives, and colors of skin.
Perhaps like you, I want to see the problem clearly and be a part of the solution. Unfortunately, that’s not as easy as it sounds.
Racial injustice has deep roots in America. It’s not a simple problem that will be solved with simplistic solutions. Placards, protests, and emotional outrage have their place to move us toward action; but real change, and lasting transformation will require more. LOTS MORE!
I wish my next few sentences could outline a systematic strategy and action steps that everyone could agree upon so we could start making progress today. If it were that easy, we wouldn’t be where we are today. No, I believe real change will only happen when two critical things occur:
1. We STOP talking and START listening.
2. Christian leaders and Christ’s Church LEAD the way.
Until we really understand, what life is actually like for those who are living with injustice based on their race, we will never see real change.
Until we as Christians tackle this sin head on, we will never see real change. Whether pastors, business professionals, teachers, coworkers, parents, or students—we must use our influence to model repentance and acceptance. We must use our positions and relational networks to change hearts and bring about justice.
How will this happen? I don’t know.
And, it will require a spiritual, God-empowered, heart changing solution.
In this month’s Coffee Break audio, I will walk you through a very specific and practical process to help you discern God’s direction for you in these troubled times.
We must think clearly and respond wisely in times of crisis. We cannot be passive, nor can we allow the current narrative to engulf and overshadow our life’s perspective.
I am reminded that even in the worst circumstances we are commanded to
“Always be full of joy in the Lord; I say it again, rejoice! Let everyone see that you are unselfish and considerate in all you do. Remember that the Lord is coming soon.” Philippians 4:4-5
The Apostle Paul wrote that command while in chains, awaiting possible execution.
May we never forget “OUR GOD REIGNS!” We have much to be thankful for. Let’s refuse to let our circumstances determine our attitude. In Christ, we are more than conquerors, and our world is in desperate need of Jesus showing up through you and me every day, in every way, everywhere, for the glory of God and good of all mankind.
Pressing ahead together,
CEO & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
P.S. I also have some great news to share that has nothing to do with COVID-19 or racism. Be sure to listen to this month’s Coffee Break audio.
See how your partnership has helped transform lives