There is a lot happening in the world right now. It might be the understatement of the decade to say that we are facing a crisis. Evil has reared its incomprehensible head in a way that makes no sense.
These events have reminded us that although we have come a long way in America, we still have a way to go. I want to share some insight from the Bible in two posts this week to provoke your thinking and action.
At the core of our Constitution is the premise that “all men are created equal.”
It is the standard of equality no matter the color of your skin, skill level, bank account, or achievements; we are all human.
Yet there are those in our country who do not live by this truth. The racial injustice carried out by some individuals behooves us all to resist and denounce the inequality of any human being.
We are standing in a moment in time where we can effect necessary change moving forward. We cannot do anything about the past, but we can change the future from the direction we are headed.
- I believe protesting is necessary to bring global awareness to the existence of racism, and I fully support constructive protesting.
- I don’t believe that politics and policies can make the needed change we seek because they can only address the symptoms and not the root of the problem.
- I believe the solution goes much deeper than that.
The fundamental teachings of the Bible focus on interpersonal relationships, how we interact, and treat one another. Faith in Jesus Christ is the key to breaking cycle and sin of racism.
- Racism is a sin.
- It violates every tenant of faith in God.
- Racism is the rejection and hatred of someone whom God created and said was good.
In Matthew 22:34-40, Jesus was greatly opposed by those who did not like His message of uniting Jew and Gentile, promoting the equalization of men and women, and or His attempt to bring God to the people in a way the religious people viewed as sacrilegious.
Some who opposed Him were continually looking for ways to discredit Him. They continually sought to test and trap Him to get Him to say something that would cause the masses to reject Him so that they could dismiss Him.
On this occasion, a teacher of the law asks “what is the most important commandment.” The question appears innocent, but Matthew notes that his motive for asking is not.
He was not asking for the sake of dialogue or to understand.
Can you imagine what this conversation had to sound like from Heaven’s perspective? Here is a man who has devoted his life to studying the law of God, praying, and asking God to give him understanding, and He is arguing with the One who wrote the law.
Anger will blind you to understanding.
Jesus’ answer is the key for us today to close the divide of racial inequality in our world. Built into our faith in God is the undeniable truth that our love for Him translates into equal love for all people.
It is incompatible with our faith in God to view and treat someone as less than equal.
Jesus responds to the question of what the most important commandment is, “to love God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind.”
In this single statement, Jesus eliminates the compartmentalization of love by saying we are to love God with all our entire being. Our whole being is dedicated to loving God; no part is exempt.
This word love is translated from the word agape. Agape means to esteem, indicating a direction of the will and finding one’s joy in someone or something. It’s an unconditional, sacrificial love that is not dependent on any external motivation or reciprocation.
Let’s look at these three areas Jesus indicated in His answer.
The word heart comes from the Greek word kardia and is often used figuratively as the control center of our life. In Hebrew thought, the heart was the seat and center of human life.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23
We are to guard our hearts above all else because the matters of life flow out of it, and what matters in life is influenced by it.
This is translated from the Greek word psyche, and it means to breathe and is often translated as soul. We are to love God with every breath. Every moment as we inhale and exhale is for the purpose of loving God and demonstrating the love of God.
This comes from the Greek word dianoia, and it’s often translated as mind or disposition. It means understanding, intellect, and intellectual faculty. Our thoughts and thinking are to be saturated with the love of God.
Loving God corrects our disposition and gives us the proper perspective of ourselves and of others. Our heart, soul, and mind are to love God and be guided by love.
Has your love for God changed the way you see and love other people? 1 John 4:8 says that “Anyone who does not love does not know God.” Love for God must translate into love for others.
Let love transform your perception of others and love unconditionally!