No Fear In Love and God Is Love

In the wake of the last few days, its been hard to know what to say.  After the senseless killing of George Floyd and the rioting and protests in our streets my heart is breaking for our world.  The answers aren’t easy.  We have had racial problems in our nation since its inception.  How do we deal with 250 years of systemic racism and all of its effects?  

I’ll be honest, I don’t have all the answers.  Here’s what I do know.  I grew up in the south in a family with a lot of racism in it.  I was fortunate to move from a small town in North Carolina where I only had 1 or 2 African American classmates to Greensboro when I was 8 years old and half of my third grade class was black. I do remember being in shock at first, but you know what I found out?  I really liked my new African American classmates.  We had many of the same interests, watched the same television shows, and laughed at the same jokes.   We were the same.   

So how did I find out at 8 years old that I was the same as a black kid?  I got to know them.  I talked to them.  I listened to them.  I guess at 8 years old, I was too naive to know that many in society and my own family didn’t want to be friends with people who had a different skin color than me.  Interestingly enough, throughout my middle and high school years, I had more black friends than white friends.  

As I’ve reflected on all of the events of the past few days, I’m shocked.  How can our nation still have racism in it?  How stupid is it to hate people based on the color of their skin?  Yet it still exists.  As I confronted many of my own family members about racist attitudes and language over the years, I found that my beliefs that we are one and we should all be able to love and get along were not well received.  I was told “they are different than us.”  When I pressed them for specifics about how “they were different” none were given.  Do you know why?  

 We are all the same.  The truth is there is more that unites us than divides us.

So what keeps our nation divided?  Fear.  Many People are afraid of someone who has a different skin color.  Instead of processing that fear in a godly manner and getting to know the person they choose to deal with it by hating and oppressing another race. 

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.  

People who feel the need to oppress other people because of fear are obviously tormented.  They must control because they are afraid.  The same goes for those who loot and destroy property while they protest wrongs that have been done. They are being controlled by fear. ( I do want to be clear I support the right to peaceful protest, just not violent protest).

What’s the solution then?  We need to be made perfect in love.  We need to allow the unconditional love of God to overflow every part of our being.  We need to spend time with Jesus until we overflow with Him. 

1 John 4:16 says God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.  

I wish I could lay out 10 point plan on how to end racism in America.  I don’t have it.  Here’s what I do have.  We need Jesus.  Every person, no matter there skin color needs to be made perfect in His love.  This will set them free from fear.  When we know we are loved, accepted, and protected by our Heavenly Father we won’t respond in fear and we will get to know people of others races and attempt to see things from there perspective.  We need a childlike faith, just like I had when I was 8 years old!  

We are all apart of one race: the human race.  This should unite us because Jesus came for the entire human race and made us all one in Him:

Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 

When I see my African American brother or sister, I need to see me as one with them because we are in Christ together.  When they see me, they need to see me as one with them, because we are one in Christ. 

The presence of racism is a sign of the presence of fear. Let’s pray for a spirit of love and unity to hit our nation.  God wants to set us free from this torment once and for all.

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