Last Saturday the long awaited verdict was delivered. It was a trial that split this nation along racial divides. And the verdict was not guilty. Immediately the internet, media outlets were overwhelmed by emotions. Some celebrated, others jeered.
Unfortunately, the American culture has been race baited.The political powers that be, whether liberal or conservative, use race as a way to garnish support. They tactfully use nuance to divide our country. And the media gladly dives into the sea of racial discord in order to increase viewership, sponsorship, and therefore profits. With all that being said, the problem is not in the political field or the media, rather it is in our hearts. The political pundits use racial methods to divide us because we allow them, the media jumps to conclusions and shouts racism because they know they have an loyal audience.
The fact of the matter is two lives are forever destroyed. Trayvon Martin will never come home and despite the verdict, George Zimmerman will never be able to live a normal life. Yet, as a black man I can hear the cries of injustice from the brokenhearted, but as a follower of Christ I see something different.
As a believer I want justice, because God has instilled in us the desire to defend the weakest, take care of the widow, and serve the needy. But God’s justice is different than we may think. Two thousand years ago, an innocent man, spotless, blameless, sinless was crucified on the cross for crimes He did not commit. It was the greatest injustice ever rendered in human history. Yet, because of His sacrifice, the injustice done to Him, we are justified, righteous, and holy. God’s definition of justice is forgiveness, mercy, and reconciliation. And because it is God’s justice, it is the justice I will seek, even in the midst of such turmoil. We must have our sense of justice rooted in God’s character and not our own because when we seek to carry out justice on our own, we become like those who crucified our savior.
We must possess Godly views even in racial issues. Acts 17:26 says, “And he has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth” to the believer this means that we are all one race – the human race. And all are created in the image of God. Therefore, as Dr. Alveda King so gracefully explained, racism is based in a lie! http://ow.ly/n9yli The enemy, who comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10) would like nothing more than to divide us. In fact Jesus tried to warn us. In Matt 24:7 teaching about the “times to come” He says, “For nation shall rise against nation…” The word for nation is the Greek word “Ethnos”, yes my friends it is the same word we get ethnic and ethnicity from. What Jesus is saying is that ethnic group will rise against ethnic group. If we are not careful we we fall into the trap that Satan has laid and Jesus warned about.
So here’s what we can do. First, have a proper understanding of Godly justice which as I explained is mercy, forgiveness, and reconciliation.
Second, live out God’s definition of justice. I know many of you reading my blog, regardless of your ethnicity, have encountered true racism. Now is the time to love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you. (Matt 5:44) Don’t play the “gotcha game” with the enemy because we will all lose. Here’s the gotcha game, when one knuckle head does something different, we say to ourselves an others “Look! See here! Another example of racism!” Feel free to fill in who the “they” are in your life.
Third, intentionally integrate. During the Civil Rights Era many people fought to end segregation and they did so successfully. Although we have desegregated, we still have not integrated. Try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Try to learn from their culture, make friends, try something new, or visit a different church. I think we will be amazed that they are not as different than ourselves.
Fourth, teach this to the next generation. Teach your children, or any young person you have relationship with what God’s justice looks like, how to live it in their lives, and how to intentionally integrate. If we do this, we will slowly, but surely become the nation our forefathers and Lord dreamed of.