Most reading this article would probably agree that many recent events we’ve seen in the news are a confirmation of the fact that we live in a fallen world. From racial unrest in Charlottesville, VA, to devastating hurricanes in Texas and Florida, our country has been faced with extreme challenges that beg some kind of response from we, its citizens.
Natural disasters have a way of awakening us to the reality that we as humans are not really in control here, and generally, elicits (from believers and non-believers alike) a response of compassion for those less fortunate. That response may come through prayers offered up for the flood victims and their families, monetary or food donations, or volunteering in the cleanup.
But racial divisions run deeper that flood waters and strike at the very core of our belief structure. Ultimately, any judgment we render (in our thoughts, words, or deeds) towards another person who is different from us is a testament of the attitude of our heart…
“For out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45b
Before we judge someone (or a group of people) for any reason, we would be wise to remember this – there’s always one more thing we don’t know about that person (or their situation). We at the Christian Blue Network, for the past 26 years, have been committed to “putting our hands” to the plow with our brothers and sisters in Christ. We believe that by supporting one another’s businesses and organizations in the marketplace, we can develop relationships across the denominational and racial lines that too often divide us as believers (especially on Sunday morning).
Developing relationships is the key to understanding others who are different from us, and understanding evokes empathy, and empathy forms a pathway to love. Isn’t this the critical need of our world today? We as believers in Christ, who know His truth, should be setting the example for the world to follow. The great news is, according to Jesus, this will be an undeniable witness for Christ…
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.” John 13:35
But attempting to understand those unlike us has to start with a willingness to examine one’s own heart…
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts, and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.” Psalm 139:23-24
In the blog “Have Compassion” found in this newsletter, I share a situation that happened to me a number of years ago that proved a signal – that such an examination of my own judgmental heart towards others of a different color was desperately needed. I greatly encourage you to read this article and discover how the amazing grace of God brought two seemingly different people together in one heart-awakening, perspective-altering moment.