Our country is presently reeling as we see the divide of our country deepen and the voices on both sides grow louder. It is a sad reality, and for many, a reality that only a few years ago would have been something seen on a distant land not in our own backyard. Many people point back and forth from race to riot to reform but the main thing that is not spoken of is redemption. Billy Graham said there will never be world peace until we first have peace within our own hearts. So I would say we don’t have a skin problem, but a sin problem, where the issues of race will not be found in rioting but in the grace of Jesus.
In my years of counseling I have found that either love or fear are the two most motivating factors that open us humans up for change. Either something we love deeper than our divide will motivate us forward or fear will push us backward. Sometimes either one can be beneficial in their own way because it gets two people or two groups of people out of the rut of going back and forth so they can take a fresh look from a new perspective at whatever was the disagreement. It doesn’t mean they will resolve the issue right away, but unity and common ground must be found before resolutions can be achieved. Otherwise, we stay in the bowels of the heated arguments until we are exhausted only to lay things down to fight again another day.
Christ came to call all of us out of ourselves and biases and our self-righteousness and self-will to find unity in grace. Only in grace can our ears be open so that we can see something beyond our own agenda. Only if more people would be open to said grace in our communities across America. Knee-jerk reactions to appease angry mobs or political groups only band aide the problems but never heal the hurt or sew up the divide. Whatever the issue then swings on the pendulum of two divides swaying in favor for one for a while and then the other for a while, but a solidified fix doesn’t take place. What we need in these difficult conversations, so that healing can take place, are real conversations where adults show up to the table without temper tantrums to undermine, where hearts are humble, evidence is necessary, truth is sought, and ears more than mouths are open and used. Politics, government interests, reactionary methods won’t solve this problem, but a redeemed heart of grace can, and that must begin within ourselves.
Matthew 11:28-30 NIV
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”