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Today’s Verse: “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13

No matter the question… hatred is never the answer.  Intolerance, racial profiling, bigotry, and violence isn’t either.  

What we witnessed in Charlottesville, Virginia was difficult to watch and even more difficult to believe is still happening.  The year may be 2017 but the images that flashed across our screens over the weekend reflected decades of an all-too-familiar ignorance and the misguided declaration of supremacy of one group over another.  Demonstrations like this aren’t a proof-of-concept for democracy but instead a revelation that the fabric of our nation is still torn in more ways than we want to believe.

No matter what the signs say, there is only One who is supreme… and His message is not based on acrimony and prejudice.   It’s love.  Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords came to this earth to show us how to treat one another.  He told us to turn the other cheek instead of raising our other fist… to stand together not drive a wedge between… to see our differences as reasons to celebrate people not as weapons against them.

So what is an appropriate response to these actions?  Hate the haters?  Lash out against those whose rage-filled speech incited undisciplined behavior?

No.

Jesus tells us that if we are Christ-followers, we need to do two things.  First, choose to love.  Every person is redeemable.   As much as some may want to demonize the offenders, it’s important to remember that Christ died for them too.  Pray for those with hate-filled hearts and ask God to help them see the merit of a life centered around inclusion and compassion for all.

Second, choose to be the light.  This will be the topic of discussion around dinner tables and water coolers all over the world.  When it gets around to you, you’ll have a choice to make.  Where will you stand?  What will you tell your children about what they’re seeing?  Will you just see this as a one-time flare up in Virginia or leverage it to begin a dialogue with those in your family about what the Christ-like way to treat others is?  What the enemy wants to use to divide our nation can be used by God to raise awareness and continue to heal it.   But it ultimately comes down to your takeaway… what will you do with an incident of this magnitude?

I challenge you in the days ahead to search your own heart… where are you regarding the questions of race and creed?  Do you find yourself eager to embrace and care about those who are different than you are?  What about forgiving those who hate and praying for them to love? Remember, apathy to the world around us leads to ignorance… and ignorance leads to intolerance and fear.  Dare to be different.   Be the light for Christ that the world so desperately needs.

Steph and I are praying for healing for our nation… and we’d be honored if you’d join us.

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