Love Like Jesus

Yesterday was #blackouttuesday. Instead of posting a blank image on my IG or FB page yesterday, I decided to wait until today. I wanted to stay silent and not post an image that would take up space for someone else who had something to say that was way more important than anything I could ever say. 

Even though I was silent yesterday, we CANNOT be silent anymore. I am outraged and heartbroken at the suffering and unequal treatment of the black community, the unnecessary loss of life and acts of hate, violence, and racism occurring across our country. 

Enough is enough.

I am listening. I am learning. My heart hurts for our nation, for George Floyd, for blacks, for all Americans, for the good cops out there, for families that are grieving, for the world. For everything. 

I honestly don’t know what to say or how to say it. I am worried that I will say the wrong thing. But even more worrisome is not saying anything. So, I turn to God, my source of truth.

“This is real love – not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.”

– 1 John 4: 10-12

“God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.” ” Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear…”

– 1 John 4: 16-19

The notes in my Bible states, “God’s love is the source of all human love, and it spreads like fire. In loving his children, God kindles a flame in their hearts. In turn, they love others, who are named by God’s love through them. The real test of our love for God is how we treat the people right in front of us. We cannot truly love God while neglecting to love those who are created in his image.”

A friend of mine chose Sociology & Psychology as a major/minor in school and studied race/ethnicity, white flight, white privilege, gentrification, etc. and stated that it taught her a lot, specifically that she (WE) could do better, even though she felt like she treated everyone equally and avoided making assumptions based on race/ethnicity. She posted this and I had to share:

A few helpful ideas to improve communication:

  • White Privilege: If you are white and have ever gotten a job or promotion, gone to a public school, been pulled over, or gone jogging outside, you’ve experienced white privilege (so essentially, all of us). A cop drove by me on my late night run last night, and my first thought was, “I wonder if he’ll stop to ask if I’m okay since it’s so late…” My second thought was, “Wow, I’m white.” The argument that you worked hard to get where you are and thus haven’t experienced privilege is a logical fallacy, BTW. Google logical fallacy if logical methods of discussion are unfamiliar. Edited to add: Social scientists have literally seen employers throw a resume with the name “Tyrone” in the trash and keep the identical “Michael” resume for consideration. Same exact resume. So if your name is Travis or Chad or any other name that “sounds white,” you’ve experienced white privilege.
  • Race is bull anyway. Socially, it’s a thing. Scientifically? Genetically? Not so much. You may have more DNA in common with your black or brown neighbor than your white friend. 
  • On prejudice: Thinking you know how someone will act based on what they look like is the equivalent of saying you know what every kind of beer tastes like because you’ve tasted beer before. Or because your parents told you what to expect from beer. Noticing every time you’re “right” about a group is an example of confirmation bias.
  • If someone tells you something is offensive, Google it. Do your own emotional labor. Don’t make someone explain why something is insensitive or tell him or her they’re wrong. 
  • And lastly, sometimes, despite what we think we already know, we need to open our ears and our minds and shut our mouths. None of us know everything. We can ALL improve. We can all do better.

WE CAN ALL DO BETTER.

Let’s LOVE like God tells us. Let us listen with open ears. Let us hear. Lord, soften hearts and open minds.

And to close this, Ruth Chou Simons stated it beautifully, as only she could:

“Racism is a result of thinking ourselves higher and better than our Creator God and consequently in turn, thinking ourselves higher and better than another. And all of us, in our sinful nature, are capable (if not compelled) to image ourselves and guard our own perspectives. Sin is our desire to rule, rather than be surrendered to the King of Kings.

We can’t simultaneously believe we are desperately in need of God’s grace AND think ourselves better than our neighbor (or defensively deny we ever would.) Jesus came to restore our image-bearing potential. For all us who come surrendered.

So if we are in Christ, WE are conduits of restoration and redemption. WE are the messengers of God’s Way when there is no human way. WE are the image-bearers that lead other image-bearers back to the image of Him we bear.

When words fail, hearts grieve, and all seems lost in this world, I can’t help but realign my heart with the character of God and “walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you’ve been called.” (Ephesians 4:1) 

Looking to ourselves or to others for the answers will always come up short. Looking to Him keeps hope alive.”

Let’s look to Him.

May God bless you.

*Let’s keep the conversation going. Please feel free to comment below, with love and light, and let us learn from one another. Let us grow, listen, hear. Let this be a safe space to glean from one another.

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