Yesterday I set out to prove that there was more to Dallas than just a mass shooting. I said that there was an actual motive behind this shooting. The person involved told us his reason; i.e., he wanted to kill white people. And this is most likely in reaction to more black men killed by police. And I said that I would give you an answer to this dilemma.
First, we must understand the situation. We are a country that is in a worse shape in our race relations than eight years ago. There now is a racist under every white face, or at least this is our perception. And there is the glaring problem of our past.
Most whites ignore the fact that blacks have and still at times are mistreated. We gloss over the past and forget the actions of our parents and grandparents. These actions have had a significant effect on the black community.
Next, we must also remember that violence begets violence. Unless it is in an effort to defend ourselves or another, we should set aside our violent nature. This especially applies to vengeance. If violence begets violence, then when we retaliate, we are giving birth to the next generation of violence.
Then, if we as a people demand justice in every situation, we can begin to mend our relations with one another. Though it may take time to heal, we must stand together. Not as black and white. Not as rich or poor. We must begin to see each other as God’s image bearers.
In the Gospel of Matthew we read
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:36-40
I think most of us get this right on the basest application. We understand that this means that we are to treat others as we wish to be treated. But, what about what we see happening to others. If we love our neighbor as ourselves, will we not demand that they are treated as we are or wish to be?
If you see that your neighbor is oppressed or molested, does love not demand that you come to his rescue? If your neighbor is murdered, does love not demand that you seek his justice? What would you wish if you were shot down in cold blood? Would you not hope your neighbors would love you and punish all that are responsible?
Once we start loving each other in this way, we will see this anger and rage at one another cease. When we get to the point that we see that we are all made in the image of God, regardless of color, we will begin to love one another as ourselves.
May God’s Spirit make it so.