"If anyone knows what it means to be unfairly ridiculed and murdered horrendously for absolutely no reason and put on public display…it’s our savior Jesus"
“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” Matthew 5:44
The older I get, the more I understand that it is hardest to put God’s words into practice the moment the context of the scripture becomes relevant. In other words, it is easy for me to understand that I should love my enemy, until I am encountered by someone or something that offensively opposes, hates, or persecutes me.
This morning I reviewed headlines in the newspapers that echo the painful verdict in the case of Philando Castile.
I have personally never experienced pain like the sweltering pain that is the result of blatant racial injustice. The pain that surfaces when you realize the very system that is set up to protect you, doesn’t protect you and furthermore will justify the murder of an innocent man because of the color of his skin…the color of my skin.
And as I write, it would be all too easy to continue airing my frustration, fueling the anger inside of me and igniting hatred. It is a natural and innate response, justifiable because of the situation at hand. BUT God has a higher standard in mind for us as believers:
- “There is a time for everything…a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.” Ecclesiastes 3
- “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Romans 12:9-10
- “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12
I pull these scriptures to remind you that God understands what we feel.
If anyone knows what it means to be unfairly ridiculed and murdered horrendously for absolutely no reason and put on public display…it’s our savior Jesus. So while there is a time to hate, it is evil we should hate, not people. All the same we are called to war against “spiritual wickedness” and again, not people.
In summation, we are in a spiritual battle. And although we can only see the physical outcomes of this spiritual battle i.e. injustice, poverty, sickness, chaos etc…it is through love and prayer that we are supposed to fight.
Yes, this is unconventional and it seems inconvenient. But God is unconventional.
- “…if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.” James 3:14-17
I do not write these things to tell you not to mourn nor to tell you not to be upset but only to encourage us all as believers to channel any anger we feel towards the ultimate enemy, the enemy of our souls, to fight with prayer and to be strong enough and bold enough to love.
God in heaven. Hold our hearts, mind our tears, cover our families, hover over our cities. Lull us into peace. Strengthen us to love, everyone. Lift us to a higher place of dealing with our pain. Let difficult circumstances cause us to war in worship, in love and in devastating prayer. Let us walk in power. Be the lifter of our heads. Be the source of our strength. Help us to cling to your word. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.
Deepest condolences to the family of Philando Castile and other families, named and unnamed that have been directly affected by racial injustice backed by the system. My heart and prayers are continually with you.
With love always,
Tiffany Trawick ♥