Decisions Today Will Impact Generations
To Recycle Or Not
We all make decisions in our family and personal life. Do we recycle the stuff we have been given or throw it away?
We are dealing with some very hard situations in the USA right now. Most of it got really serious recently with the death of George Floyd. This was a very unfair, unfortunate, upsetting situation. A few police officers killed him in a horrific way! Protests began in Minneapolis and started spreading all over the country, mostly in major cities. Along with peaceful protests came some very extra-scary, upsetting events where stealing, throwing stones, murdering and catching buildings on fire began.
To be honest, my position on the whole situation is that it was very unjust and peaceful protests are totally understandable and even warranted. I don’t believe that the extra burning and violent rioting are acceptable. In fact, I truly believe that they detract from a very important message of injustice by overshadowing that message of injustice with more injustice. You may not agree with me and that’s ok.
The reason I believe this is wrong and should not be happening is that violence as a response to violence escalates what’s wrong about all of this and continues carrying on a cycle. Biblically, we protect those we love and those who are mistreated. It’s even good to attempt to keep future mistreatments from happening again. But is it truly helping the situation to go from one generation to another, angry and hurt and taking out our anger on more and more, despite our reason for doing so?
A Perspective God Wants Us To Recycle
In the early church, racial injustice was rampant and had to be addressed by the leadership of the church. The way God led them to deal with it was not by focusing on the differences and wrongs and only giving consideration to the divisions between them but by pulling folks together, and reminding people that we are all ONE body, ONE people and we need to value everyone in that body as though they were our own family and our own flesh and blood.
28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.Galatians 3:28
People say that black lives matter and I truly believe they do as much as any other life and everyone should be treated with respect and dignity as beings created in the image of God. I actually have bi-racial grandchildren and love them very dearly. I pray daily for a better future for them and other generations of my family.
Unfortunately, there are people who are using a “Black Lives Matter” slogan to destroy lives and livelihoods across the nation. One organization or individual after another wear logos and scream slogans while more and more people including children (even black children) are killed in the wake.
While many would argue that the “movement” isn’t about the organization, the more the movement screams the name of the organization, the more people fund the organization whose purpose has little to do with black lives. If anyone doubts it, please read their mission statement posted on their website and check out research on their origins and founders.
Straight From The Headlines
A baby was killed in a drive by shooting.
A child’s father is killed right in front of his child while walking together
Two teenagers shot in Seattle’s CHOP riot
So much violence! The last story is literally in the name of stopping police brutality disregarding that statistics show that the vast majority of black males in our society who are murdered are killed by black on black crimes not by police.
At what point do we stop the violence and meaningless platitudes and make meaningful changes that will save and protect our children and grandchildren?
Seeking Truth In The Cycle
Another part of this whole problem is people watching and hearing information that is simply not correct. We have to use our minds, our brains to look at information. We need to use multiple sources, not only one news channel or one newspaper. If we read something on social media, we have to evaluate whether what we read is even correct or true. If we actually see evidence, hear specific people speak, watch what actually happened, we will be in a better position to make the best decisions.
Unfortunately, when we start and participate in anything negative or reciprocating, this can come back and hurt us and those we love. Again, we create or perpetuate a cycle, we get angry and it all starts over.
I can’t reinforce enough, how important it is, especially after another case happened a few weeks ago in Atlanta, that we watch and learn and see what is truly happening first hand before we start with more anger and take it out on others who don’t even deserve it.
A consequence I see and am learning is that police officers are not even showing up for work right now. So many project what was perpetrated by a few on all police and folks hate them all as a result. I understand why the officers are so upset after so many terrible situations have happened. They are being villianized over and over as an organization that is all about killing black people. But most people don’t want to consider that most police officers never fire their firearms in their entire careers.
Don’t Recycle A Legacy Of Violence
To be clear, I’m not saying that there haven’t been terrible things that have happened in our country and culture. People have sorely mistreated others over the years and some people will never accept change which is sad. But, let’s take a step back for a minute and use some logic. Many cities are talking about de-funding their entire police force. What happens as a consequence of this?
With those who have done wrong and for which racial injustice has happened, this rioting has happened, so now police officers do not want to come to work. There are now fewer and fewer officers to care for even totally unrelated situations like car accidents, unrelated murders, domestic violence, rape and the list goes on. More hurt and more pain. And the circle continues.
Now they go out and cause more and more and more. This cycle continues. We depend on the law, whether we like it or not. If someone does wrong to us, we hope that someone will be there to arrest the one who wronged us, or else they escape and wrong many others. I’ve literally watched the same groups that have screamed for the de-funding of the police turn around and criticize the police for not responding fast enough to the two boys who died in Seattle. This is hypocrisy pure and simple.
Choose Today Whom You Will Serve
Something else that gets to me is the “it’s not fair” statement. It’s not fair only seems to matter when it happens to us or our agenda. It seems to be acceptable to do wrong to others, but when bad happens to us, we freak out! Fair? No! It’s why Jesus shared a story about a man who criticized for a sty in someone else’s eye, but had a log in his own. It’s why I grieve when I see the injustice done to George Floyd by a few police officers while so many are now in pain or dead because of the rioting in his name.
People are literally condemning the whole of the police which using it as an excuse to kill, loot and destroy. He deserves a better remembrance than that.
The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantlyJohn 10:10
We lived by the golden rule as a young child as I can remember- “Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You.” That’s not “Do Unto Others As They Do Unto You”. Fewer and fewer parents teach this now! The difference is in perspective. The right one is a perspective that moves past the wrong to make a better life by holding ourselves to a higher standard. The other is selfish in nature, returning wrong for wrong.
I also respect those in authority. Protest again, is fine, but violence is not.
A Biblical Perspective To Recycle
So, I see a few things that can help influence the world and could reduce some of this violence and change this culture. We must realize that we are spiritual beings whether we acknowledge it or not. When we change our spiritual culture, we can change the culture in our communities. Refusing to make changes in our life and the lives of our family is going to continue this recycle process.
Here are two examples of how scripture tells us to think about it:
13 You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under peoples feet.Matthew 5:13
The Bible tells us to be salt. Salt makes people thirsty. It makes people want more, want better. I imagine there are some who still love to fight, but there are some too who hate what is going on, but they feel that their best response is to go out and really fight it.
14 You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.
15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives lifht to everyone in the house.
16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.Matthew 5:14-16
Light shines, it exposes. It exposes what is right, it exposes what is wrong. This recent “cancel culture” refuses to allow anyone to speak a different perspective than the one acceptable and politically-correct perspective. It fears other ideas and seeks to shut down anything other than the socially acceptable view. In fact, most of the time, the conversation can’t even be had.
How can we do this in our family? In our community?
What I Advocate To Recycle…
Personally, I believe my place is to speak out to people, exposing, talking, sharing what I believe and why I believe it. I have people in my family, including precious grandchildren, some of whom are bi-racial, that I don’t want to see hurtful things done to by either side. My husband and I want them to be raised without fear of prejudice police or riotous mobs.
I am an active part in my community, active in our church, mentoring people, praying for them strongly, is a way that I can make a difference. Writing is something I love and feel is a way that I can make a huge impact to many also. My heart wants to see this end. I want to share and give people part of me and part of what I believe will make a difference right now especially. I’m not joining bandwagons because I don’t believe they make a long term difference. I’m engaged in changing lives for Christ because it’s the only way our sin nature can be conquered. The world will change when we make decisions to affect it properly and to love the Lord first and foremost and to love others.
Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to youMatthew 6:33
The song I picked for this post is one of my favorite songs. It reminds me and challenges me and I hope it will challenge some of you to be there to teach further generations, to impact further generations for good, not evil. We must take this opportunity to determine what we will recycle or not.