Like most people, I have been struggling with what to say, what to do, how to act…in response to the recent police shootings.
On that subject, and since I don’t have an awful lot of time for blogging today, here are some great thoughts.
At the police memorial in Dallas last Tuesday, President Obama said, “Faced with this violence we wonder if the divides of race in America can ever be bridged. We wonder if an African-American community that feels unfairly targeted by police and police departments that feel unfairly maligned for doing their jobs can ever understand each other’s experience.” One way to bridge the divide is to remember that what we have in common far exceeds what separates us. As Christians, we should know this better than anyone. Each of us, regardless of race, has at least three important things in common. First, we are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). Second, we are deeply rebellious and lost in our sin nature (Romans 3:23, 1 John 1:8). Finally, every one of us is desperately in need of a Savior (Ephesians 2:1-7).
Regardless of any other differences we may have, these three foundational truths are common to all of us. I bet you’re a lot different than many members of your own family, but somehow you manage to come together on holidays and get along. Why? Because you have something important in common. Guess what? All of us may be different racially, economically or culturally, but we also have something important in common: we are members of the human family. There is no “other side” when it comes to family. All of us have something for which we can be praised, and something we can do better.
Take an honest look at your own shortcomings before you point a finger at others, then adopt Jesus’ view toward those you’ve thought of in an adversarial way. Jesus was, after all, the master of “counter-intuitive compassion.” He famously taught, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, ‘Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven’” (Matthew 5:43-45). As Christians, we’re called to love those we previously described as our enemies. Let’s talk the talk and walk the walk. Love the people on all sides of this issue and look for what we have in common rather than what might divide us.