How Should We React?
by Phillip Greene
I’m not sure how to even begin this discussion…BUT…How should we react?
Social issues around us in this world seem to come and at times we just do not know the words to say.
This is one of those times…
Like so many times before…
We are left speechless by the anger and hatred that we see around us. We are disgusted by the arguing and divisiveness of some who feel that they must argue about everything that happens around them. We are broken when we see another life taken, in what may or may not be a senseless act of violence. We cry for the families, we cry for justice, we cry for a fix…we simply cry.
There are many reactions to things that happen. There are many times that Racism, Sexism, and many other isms enter our conversations and break us without warning….so how can we address those sensibly and humbly? How do we address them and still keep our faith? How do we address them without joining in the arguing, back-biting, and anger?
Look to Jesus
It is ok for us to start conversations…but is it not ok for us to take justice into our own hands?
The simple answer? NO.
When we take justice in our own hands, it leads us into anger, resentment, and ultimately sin. It may not be our place to react violently or aggressively. In fact, if we do, more often than not we stir up anger and resentment in others which leads to several issues that become name-calling and arguing. The social media danger is that we become brave, and a little thoughtless, behind a keyboard. We think that because we are not face to face with someone that our words and response will not have results other than a back and forth.
“In your anger…do, not sin.” (Ephesians 4:26)
Oh…what are you posting out of anger? Cursing? Demeaning? Slander?
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come from your mouth.” (Ephesians 4:29)
When we are angry, we lose control at times. Most of those times we justify our statements with statements like, “They started it,” or, “I couldn’t help it, I was just so angry.” Again, anger and frustration are not a license to sin, in fact, the instruction is very clear, “In your anger, DO NOT sin.”
How do we overcome this evil with good? We pray. We allow God to work in the situation and we continue to pray for our enemies. Pray for those who persecute, you, and others. Pray for those who are going through a hard time.
I’m not saying sit back and watch it happen, say something, call authorities, help get someone involved, but justice isn’t ours to serve.
In fact, to take it a step further…what would Jesus do? Well, what Jesus did was take it to the cross. He died for those who are being mistreated and, believe it or not, for those who are doing the mistreating. It could be your sensible and Christian influence that will allow the Spirit of God into the situation to work on the heart of others. God can do so much where we feel helpless, but it starts with you bringing Him into the circumstance.
We can see God move in a mighty way, but the first step is to react in the right manner and not cause more struggle because of our ungodly behavior. Please think about it. Please pray about it. Please love one another as Christ has loved you.
Phillip Greene has been Pastor at Newland Christian Church since 2016. He has been Station Manager at Glory1130 in Newland since 2012 and is active in the local community as a Coach and Public Address Announcer for Avery Athletics. You can access Newland’s sermons online at www.newlandchristianchurch.com/sermons or an archive of his articles at phillipgreene.wordpress.com.
You can also see more of his work HERE.