The current social climate in the US and around the world is legitimately hard to deal with. Between terrorists, conversations on race, pain going on in how people treat each other in subtle ways, and so much more in between, it feels like a really bizarre time to be alive. Since when do so many countries have clear and common enemies? Like I said, weird.
I want to take a moment to address an issue I see bubbling up during conversations around race and foreign policy. When it comes to being “politically correct”, do our hearts change or is it simply our words? If you encountered someone who was legitimately racist and stuck there, are you just going to condemn them? What if a terrorist actually repented of his ways at some point? Are you going to be the one to sentence a heart that desires to change to death?
We have created a climate where our real problems are concealed under the cloak of prettier language, and no one seems to know how to address problems once we actually uncover them. Patting one another on the back for continuing to cause pain to people who are just as broken as you or I, we claim the burden of racism and discrimination rests with only a few, instead of in the hearts of just about every human and culture I have ever heard of, if remained unchecked. Because it’s easier to believe we are all “good people” instead of like the men giving up their lives in pursuit of the promises of radicalized Islam (which is no true portrayal of Islam), we condemn people who are domestic and international untouchables. Because so few people believe in a God who is strong enough to intervene, we just watching the same mistakes happen.
If you are praying for the victims, also pray for the terrorists and their families. If you are praying for people murdered in race-based gun violence, also pray for the people murdering them. If you are going to pray for your neighbor, also pray for yourself and that you have the strength and the guidance to offer support out of the Holy Spirit. If you are going to pray for one nation’s leaders, pray for all of them, in order that we can work together as fellow children of God.
In times like this, people of faith are called to work together and put aside our petty differences, because we know a God who is truly a gamechanger. You can’t rest on your laurels and complain about the violence you see all around you. Now is the time for prayer, and not just the promise of prayer on social media. If we know a God who is actually able to affect change, why aren’t we asking him? If we ask him, then we can be sure that ours is not a spirit of fear.