Controversy. I tend to avoid it as controversy is uncomfortable to think about or discuss. So many of us do that – we hide rather than seek to find a solution.
My dear friend, Edith (Ede) Houghton wrote about Nike selecting Colin Kaepernick as their “face” recently. Her words captured my heart and got my attention so I asked permission to share her post here, as I am convicted – and enlightened – on a way to share on this topic full of controversy that matters.
In light of the loud controversy and debate concerning Nike’s choice of Colin Kaepernick as the face for their 30th year campaign, I felt led to spend time with the Lord concerning the subject. I’m going to share my thoughts which are simply that, my thoughts as led by the Spirit as I was walking in Arkansas where segregation has not yet been truly eradicated.
One of the first thoughts I had was that it is impossible for us to understand another and their perspective until we have “walked a mile in their shoes“ or Nikes in this particular case. We simply don’t know what another person’s perspective is and to pretend that we do is dangerous as we are actually choosing to judge someone else based on our experience or lack there of and we all know that judgment is not God’s heart for us.
The truth of the matter is that although I understand abandonment and rejection, as those were persistent themes and experiences throughout the course of my life, I cannot even begin to pretend to understand what it would be like to be judged solely on the color of my skin with eyes that are geared towards perpetuating a system which benefits some while completely disregarding the worth of others – that is the essence of racism.
It is a strategy to completely divide us as humans by perpetuating fear and intolerance of others who simply look different than we do.
When the originators of slavery pondered how to protect their best interests, they intentionally chose to limit the capacity of their slaves to invest in loving their own families by creating a system whereby slaves never knew if they were going to be sold the very next day and never see their family or loved ones again. The idea was that slaves would always live in fear and refuse to risk loving deeply because of the reality of experiencing true broken hearts when ripped from their families and all they knew or were familiar with.
Satan always seeks to divide as well as interfere with our ability to receive and give love because he knows that Father God’s heart is for us to receive His unconditional love for us so that we can love our neighbor as ourselves and the world will know we are Christians by our demonstrated love for EVERYONE, even our enemies! If we as the body of Christ, hope to actually prevail despite the darkness within our society and our world, we need to learn how to set aside those things which divide us and walk in the true authority that Jesus came to give us so that we could overcome (Rev 12:11).
We need to actively go after injustice and destroy it by the way in which we love those who have not yet been loved no matter what their actions are.
We are not called to do things based upon the results, rather we are called to do what is put before us by the Lord so that the world we live in can be impacted by His love, for the Bible tells us that “love never fails.” It is time for us to set aside any preconceived notions we may have about how “it’s time for others to man up or to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and start working to improve their own lives”– rather, it’s time for us to step out in love and take a stand against injustice and racism because perpetuating these things is going to be the undoing of our society as well as the Church in general.
In order for the Church to move forward as the Bride of Christ, we need to demonstrate that we “have” something that is vital and relevant, something that means something, something that makes a difference in the grand scheme of things for each and EVERY person, and that something would be Jesus, the one who died that we might have life more abundant, the one who gave His all so that each of us could have something, the one who was willing to be in prison so that we could enter into freedom. We are to follow Him, Jesus Christ, and the only way we can do that is to renew the way in which we think about things and apprehend His thoughts and take each and everyone of our own thoughts “captive to the obedience of Jesus.”
One great way to start to do this is to ask:
Jesus, what are your thoughts on racism?
How do we as a society overcome this injustice?
I choose to stand – with and for unity in Christ Jesus. That too is a controversy today.
The challenge? Determine where we are on the topic of racism. Then seek to renew our minds with the words and the mind of Jesus Christ.