Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "O Canada"1 (Lyrics)
Galatians 5:14-15 – For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another! (NKJV)
According to Wikipedia, "The pandemic … caused the largest and worst civil unrest in the United States history since King assassination riots in 1968." Protests in Canada have also been widespread. Besides activities that "bite and devour" our brothers and sisters, reactions to racial injustice include peaceful demonstrations of love towards our racially diverse neighbours, while others say, "Well, I would do something, but I don't know what to do", and there are those who deny that there is a problem.
As Christians, we need to ask ourselves some serious questions. Am I in the denial category, believing that race is a problem there, but not here? Do I say, "I am white, but I don't believe in white privilege"? Do I think, "Well, there may be unfortunate incidents, but this Black Lives Matter movement is just typical sensationalized media reporting"? Do I tune out when those whose skin colour is different than mine are reporting on their awful experiences with the police?
If we respond "Yes" to any of these questions, we need to follow the advice of James, "But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves." (James 1:22 NKJV)
Does God's standard of being doers of the word include listening to only parts of the story? Is treating racial discrimination as media manipulation how God would define loving our neighbour? Have I informed myself about black culture and history in my area? Have I researched credible statistics by race on differences in income, education, crimes, and incarceration? Have I cross-checked facts, statistics, and stories that all report the consistently unacceptable and sometimes inhumane treatment of people of different colour?
Have you ever read a Bible passage saying, "Love your neighbours as yourself, but only if they look, think, and vote like you"? How are we going to love our neighbours if we cannot even bring ourselves to listen to their stories? God has created us all in His image. Christ's gift of salvation is for all of God's children. God calls us to listen and to act. If we listen but do not act, that in itself is an action. Pray with me:
Prayer: Dear God, forgive me for those times when I closed my eyes to injustices around me. Help me to seek learning to appreciate the diversity of Your children. Where differences in Your children exist, help me to appreciate the richness, instead of allowing the differences to divide. God, call me to listen and to act as You would. Help me to remove any hesitation from my actions or inactions of love towards others. Holy Spirit, please intervene to change the hearts of those who deny that we are called to love all of Your children. Amen.
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Thanks for the good reminder, Orlanda.
Good reminder that is desperately needed at this time.
Just imagine what a boring world this would be if we all were the same.
Thank you, Orlanda, for this timely reminder to love others as Christ loves us. Blessings.
Happy Canada Day Orlanda!
Thank you for writing so beautifully on an issue that is so Important.
God bless you and keep you safe and healthy.
Good to have a devotional from you again. Thank you for your thoughtful words. We truly are all created from one God and are His children, therefore important that we treat each other with respect and kindness. Blessings as you enjoy Canada Day today.
O SO well said, Orlanda!! Yay for the real genuine definitions of the ‘how’ of loving others!! This is such a strong, accurate, much, much needed straight talk about real actions, feelings, and understandings. Because of you, many will grow today, change, and see truth suddenly, perhaps for the first time!! What joy you brought me this morning with your clear message. Yay again!
Thank you for reminding everyone that God’s love is for everyone regardless of colour, race, or beliefs.
We have been taking refugees into our home for many years and have had such wonderful experiences. It has taught my children to love all as themselves. I’ll never forget sitting at a meal when a 3 yr. old granddaughter looked at one young man who was very black and said, “why are your eyes so white”. The colour of his skin didn’t attract her but his eyes.
I now have 2 young men with me. It is such a blessing to share our love for one another. As I age and am alone and it brings a lot of blessings into my home to have them to share it with.