“This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.”
1 John 1:5-10 NASB
In my dark moments, I am awash in sin. I like to think of myself as unbiased, as one with no racial preference. I see myself in the mirror of my choosing, a mirror, that is blurred and features a softening of all that is seen in it. I dislike being in situations where I am made aware of my sin. In my walk with the Lord, He has replaced that complimenting mirror with one that reveals the true nature of who I am.
This time of turmoil is that mirror for the nation, and indeed the world. We are being made uncomfortable by the spectacle of the slow motion murder of a man on the street in Minneapolis. In my case the mirror has revealed my disgust for those who use authority to act on their own hatred. Frighteningly, I had many desires that ran through my mind in regard to the things I wanted to happen to the officer. Suddenly God, convicted me.
If I am walking in the light, would I be thinking such things? I began to seek the Lord, and within minutes, I had moved from hatred, to what seemed like the impossible, actually praying for the officer. I went from walking in darkness to walking in light.
The process required me to confront the darkness in me. To not do so, was to lie to God, the One who knows the true nature of who I really am. God is holding up that mirror and adding the bright light, so that we cannot escape from seeing who we really are.
Some of us are trying to dull the mirror by pointing at the fringe elements making much noise, others are seeking to discredit the victim, to lessen the guilt of seeing his death, and the nasty reflection for those, who deep inside felt like he got what he deserved. We are looking at the violence, and the looting, trying to find an excuse to remain the same.
God is persistent as the pictures won’t go away. We see the violence by police, the violence by demonstrators, and it doesn’t seem to end. We are collectively being confronted by God with the grim realities of our hearts. It is a call to look into the mirror and see the truth about ourselves and then take action.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive or sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Jesus is offering heart change. He is offering the world an opportunity to confess the sin of bigotry. Blacks who hate whites, whites who hate blacks and any other combination of bias you can imagine is being called out, and can be taken to the altar. God can give us a new heart, cleansed of sin, a new outlook, an eye to seeking God’s heart of love for all people.
It starts with salvation in Jesus Christ. Change cannot come through act of will, or law. Only by the finished work of Jesus on the cross. He came, God in human flesh, to die for the sins of man, was buried and rose again. He has given us the power to walk in the light, to change.
In the midst of this upheaval, those who call on Jesus as Savior, have the opportunity to share the Gospel. I am praying over my people, I praying for people to have their hearts rent, that they see their need for forgiveness. We have all sinned.
We all have bias, whether it be by race, by political party, by economic status, by national identity, or anything else. God is showing us our sin. He is pricking our conscious. I wondered a few days ago why the protests were going on so long. At one point I thought, “get this over, already!” They I thought about my walk with Jesus.
He has used trial after trial to get my attention. So many times I cried out, “enough!” As I matured through the trials, and confronted my sins, I could sense the transformation. He was working and persisting in making me aware of the realities of the darkness in me. He was also flooding the places of victory with His marvelous light.
We will find that light. That place where human beings value human beings. That place where we consider the needs of the lowest, and all seek the betterment of all.
To get there we need to admit that we have a problem.
White people: how many close friends do you have of others races, especially the black race? Black people, I ask you the same. How many friends do you have?
Progress comes with connection. I have a challenge for you. The Pew Exchange Program! I just made that up. God did a major work in my heart when I started attending a heavily white church. There is something about worshipping with the “enemy” that changes one to the core.
Black believers, visit a white church. I highly recommend Grace. They are some of the most loving folks! There are a lot of churches you can choose. White believers, visit a black church. I am sure many of my brothers and sisters in those churches will welcome you.
I can tell you, lives will be transformed. You may just wanna stay. It is an opportunity to be cleansed of the sin of bias, that has infected everyone. We must walk in the light. God wants to do His work in you.