“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world”—John 16:33 (NIV).
My heart is heavy. History is repeating itself. I lived through the turmoil of the 60s during the Civil Rights movement. I saw the injustice. Segregated schools and restaurants. Separate water fountains and restrooms left an imprint on my impressionable mind.
What is happening in our country today didn’t begin with the murder of George Floyd at the hands of law enforcement. It isn’t the first time hatred has led to an uncalled-for death. I’m sure it won’t be the last.
Protesters are calling for change. Change can only happen in this country when each one of us takes responsibility for our own words and actions.
Nothing Will Change Unless We Do
Nothing will change until we, as Christians, quit placing our hope in government to save our country. We must embrace the teachings of Jesus Christ, and not just give lip service to our faith. If we are sold out to Jesus, we should not be conformed to this world.
Instead, we should be the change, sharing the Good News with others, beginning with our actions. Actions speak louder than words. It’s more than just memorizing scripture, it’s living a lifestyle of humility, becoming a servant, instead of being self-serving.
Remember, Jesus did not come to be served, but to serve. In Mark 10:45, Jesus says, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Giving our Lives for Others
No one is exempt from trouble. Regardless of age, gender, skin color, ethnicity, economic or social standing, religious beliefs, or lack of, we will experience trouble.
When someone experiences trials, scripture reminds us it is our Christian duty to help our fellow man. Philippians 2:4 says, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
Remember the parable of The Good Samaritan? A man was attacked by robbers and left on the side of the road for dead. After being ignored by a priest and a Levite, a Samaritan passed by. But instead of leaving him there to die, he tended to his wounds, took him to an inn and paid for the wounded man’s expenses. Jesus tells His listeners to “Go and do likewise.”
Go and Do Likewise
Doing likewise doesn’t mean following the crowd’s example, especially if they’re in the wrong. Peaceful demonstrations to bring about change isn’t the same as rioting and looting—which only invites more trouble.
Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “The limitation of riots, moral questions aside, is that they cannot win, and their participants know it. Hence, rioting is not revolutionary but reactionary because it invites defeat. It involves an emotional catharsis, but it must be followed by a sense of futility.”
1 John 2:9 says, “Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness.”
Turning Darkness into Light
Dr. King also said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
As Christ-followers, we must leave the comfort of our pews and be the change. We must “love our neighbors as ourselves.”
We can take heart because Jesus has overcome the world. Let’s examine our lives and ask God’s Holy Spirit to show us what we can do to be the change in our town, city, state, etc. Only then will we see permanent change.