~By: Krista Steuber~
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8 ESV
I’ve been trying to collect my thoughts about what to say about the sickening evil of racism and the despicable pattern of injustice and murder in this country that has been going on for so long and just keeps repeating. I’ve been praying for God to give me wisdom about what to do, what to say, and how to move. I want to be a voice that speaks out against this injustice. My heart hurts; I am grieved over this cycle of mistreatment and murder. I pray that Mr. George Floyd’s death is a tipping point for radical, unprecedented change in the hearts of the American people and the way our country operates. Mr. Floyd’s name is on a list that is too long, senselessly long; a list of black men and women who have needlessly lost their lives at the hands of another human being, all because of the color of their skin.
Every single human being is created in the image of God. We are all equal in God’s eyes; we are all children of God. He has set humans apart from all other creatures on this earth. Every human deserves to be treated with fairness and justice because we are all sons and daughters of God.
So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27 NLT
“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart...” Jeremiah 1:5 NLT
If you have feelings in your heart that you are better than another human being because of the color of your skin or their skin, if you have disdain towards others based on skin color, if you feel some don’t deserve the same opportunities and fair treatment that you enjoy, my question to you is simply, why? Why do you feel that way? Where did those feelings come from? And then, to go even deeper, why do you continue to hold on to those feelings?
This is a matter of the heart. It requires examining your heart. Racism stems from a wicked root of evil deep inside the heart that needs to be dug out. Heart change is what needs to take place in the lives of many. God is willing and able to cleanse our hearts and remove what does not belong. But, we have to humble ourselves and want the change. We have to seek it and pray for it. We have to repent of our wrongdoing. True repentance is more than just feeling remorse for sin. It is turning from one way of life to another; going in another direction. Through our repentance, God will transform us.
Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Psalm 51:1-2;10 NLT
The beauty of our human race is our diversity – our different skin tones, cultures, backgrounds, languages, families, and ways of life. Our God is a creative God; He paints with all shades of color and His palette is unlimited! I love that the neighborhood I live in, the church I go to, and the place where I work are all very diverse. I want to know people who are different from me, who don’t look like me, talk like me, and who don’t come from the same background as me. I love getting to know them and their families, listening to their stories, and learning about their experiences and perspectives.
With that also comes understanding their pain. I want to learn about what others have gone through and the struggles they have faced because of the color of their skin. I want to be educated and understand things that I have not experienced because I am a white woman and have had the privileges that come from that. I want to learn about the histories of families and things like systemic racism, which I did not fully understand until recently. I want to be the fish that jumps out of the fishbowl in order to understand the perspective of someone whose life experiences have been very different than mine. I want to be able to share the pain and bear the burden. I want to make other people’s problems my problems. I want to pursue justice for others in whatever way I can. That’s what it means to love your neighbor as yourself.
For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:14 NLT
“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:34-35 NLT
We as Christ-followers have a responsibility to be a light in the midst of darkness and to speak and act against injustice. In following Jesus Christ, we are called to go forth in love and treat others with the same love, justice, and righteousness that He has shown us. We must do what we can to work towards the just and fair treatment of our black brothers and sisters. It is our duty to use any type of privilege, platform, or opportunity we have to work for justice. We must be a voice and an advocate.
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Proverbs 31:8 NLT
If you feel unworthy to speak, or insecure about speaking out, or have feelings of who am I to say anything, know that those feelings are ploys of the enemy. Satan wants to keep us quiet. He knows that if he can make us feel unworthy to speak out, injustice will remain in our silence. We are all worthy to speak up for our fellow humans, to defend another, and to speak against injustice. Our words and actions are powerful and are the gateway to righting wrongs and inciting change.
This is what the Lord says: Be fair-minded and just. Do what is right! Help those who have been robbed; rescue them from their oppressors. Quit your evil deeds! Do not mistreat foreigners, orphans, and widows. Stop murdering the innocent! Jeremiah 22:3 NLT