As our nation mourns the loss of lives due to violent circumstances over the past few weeks, I can’t help but to be broken-hearted about the state of humanity. I look at my children and wonder just what the world will look like when they are old enough to navigate it alone, without the protective guiding presence of me or my wife.
Is it surprising? No. What is a world, where everything in it has been touched by sin, supposed to look like? (Romans 8:19-22) So what do I teach them? What can I tell my children in times like these? As Christians, we know that hate is the result of sin and hate breeds violence. Who is subjected to sin? We all are. Who is subjected to hate? All of us are and neither your economic class, your ethnic background, your education, your upbringing, your job, your career, nor your circumstances exempt you.
If we are not careful—if we do not guard our hearts with the word of God—we are at risk for allowing sin to enter. And sin manifests itself in a myriad of ways. Are we guarding our hearts? Our tongues? Being salt and light? We are one race of people, descendants of our earthly father Adam and mother Eve, but we have adapted or subscribed to prejudices that distort our views of one another so much so that we are unable to even grieve with our brothers and sisters (Romans 12:15-16, Galatians 6:2).
As Christians we ought to be praying fervently for the hearts of everyone affected by this violence. We need to pray that hearts be broken for Christ’s sake. Only broken hearts need healing, and who can bring the healing we need but Jesus?
We live in a world void of the gospel, and we cannot afford to sit back and place blame. Each of us, as Christians, has a commission and a command to spread the gospel. The threat to society lies more with the non-evangelistic Christian than with the non-voting American citizen. It is the gospel that changes person’s hearts, not political rhetoric or passionate speeches.
This is not the first calamity of a fallen world and it will not be the last. Our objective should remain unchanged. God is not silent concerning these events and issues, and if He speaks, the church, the body of Christ, cannot yield an ecclesiastical silence. The church should rise as a resounding chorus speaking to all injustices, barring bias, and providing the remedy who has always been and will always be Jesus Christ.
So I will tell my children to keep their eyes focused on the true redeemer and not to allow Satan to detour them from the true battle. I will tell them not to be swayed by hate nor prejudice but to be guided and governed by God’s word. I will tell them to love, regardless of how the world sees them.
In the words of Booker T. Washington, “I will permit no man to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him.” I will tell my children to trust in the one true God. I will tell them to spread the gospel, to reach the world. In a time filled with seemingly unanswered questions, what is our hope? Our help? What can wash away our sin? Hymnist Robert Lowry answered so sweetly and I’d have to agree, “Nothing but the blood of Jesus.”