Across the nation for approximately 2 1/2 weeks, people have been locked in for the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial. Egypt has been on the brink of civil war for several weeks with protests and riots that have resulted in chaos and death. Chicago continues to see injury and death due to gun violence each weekend. During the Boston Marathon, two brothers detonated a bomb and were involved in a shooting and carjacking. In December of 2012 in Newtown, CT, 26 people including 20 1st graders were murdered.
When we receive news that we do not agree with, truthfully, we get mad, hurt, heartbroken and experience a plethora of other emotions. After we acknowledge our feelings, we seek emotionally charged action. We continue down a path that eventually leads us to hurting ourselves or others.
During trying times, the true contents of our hearts are revealed.
Through a Twitter or Facebook status, conversation, or body language, many of us realize how wicked each of our hearts are. Sure, we are hurt and upset, but as Christians we represent the Kingdom. Of course, we are not perfect, but we should always seek to reflect Christ. Jesus would definitely not express or have the hatred and anger that we have for one another.
But what is a Christian supposed to do with news and information that we do not agree with or public policies and laws that we want changed?
1. Pray about it.
Our first response to what we should do is pray. So often we seek the counsel of one another and disregard the best counsel available. We are emotional human beings that are connected to so many different things in so many different ways. Our world is sinful, and the results of some of the laws and policies infuriate us. That is okay, but Twitter and Facebook shouldn’t hear your thoughts before God hears them. We shouldn’t pour our hearts out to our friends, peers, even pastors before we pour them out to God. Once we make our requests known to God, we receive a peace that passes all understanding. We can never get that from our friend, congressman, or even the President. An old song says:
“Have a little talk with Jesus
Tell Him all about your troubles
He will hear your faintless cry
And He’ll answer by and by”
Try Jesus before you try anyone or anything else.
2. Seek wise counsel.
As believers, community is vital. Current events often spark discussion about the wickedness of our world, the stronghold Satan has and the advances he is trying to make, and the work that the Body of Christ has to do. Seek wise counsel as you continue to make decisions. After praying about it, talk things over with your friends, your pastor, etc. These checks and balances allow you to make sure that your thoughts are not self-centered. The opinion of other believers are valuable and should not be taken lightly. Also, you never know what assistance they may be able to offer. Do not make moves on your own. Find out how others can help and support you as you seek to make a change in this world.
3. Make the change.
Our generation is notorious for hiding behind our keyboards. We post a lot of statuses with plenty of hashtags, change our profile pictures, repost things on Instagram and have a sense of fulfillment at the end of the day. Unfortunately, that does not cause a change in our nation. The government God has allowed in this nation is a Democracy. Sure it is flawed as all man-made things are, but we have opportunity to bring about change. We have already addressed the role the church has in politics. Individually, our role is to participate in our government. Pay your taxes. Obey the law. Participate in local, state, and national elections. Educate yourself on policies and laws. Get involved in your community. Mentor a child. Invest into others. Be the change you want to see.
Believers are called to be the light of this world. Often times our lights are dim and of little effect because we are afraid to take a stand or act in the flesh. Our fear and our flesh can cause us to be bad representations of Christ and cause more harm than good. Christians should be able to positively respond to the negative events in our world. I cannot tell you that this is easy, but it is possible.
We are called to think on things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, and excellent or praiseworthy. By having these things in the forefront of our mind, we can peacefully seek and cause a dramatic change in our society. Although everything will not go ‘your way,’ do not get discouraged. God is sovereign. Things that were intended to harm can be turned into things that bring glory to God. Do not underestimate the power and presence of God. Let Him use you for His will to be done.
How do you think a Christian should respond to current events?