The recent events surrounding unjust killings along with the steady escalation of racial tension in America are grieving to witness. This isn’t what we were created for. This is not who we are. No one wins in this.
God created us to be like Him.
To reflect His goodness.
To demonstrate His grace.
To show His Kindness.
To be different.
God created humans in the form of a beautiful tapestry of humanity to enjoy one another, complement one another, love one another and sharpen one another.
“But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.” –1 John 1:7
We possess a God-designed identity for humanity’s family on earth.
A family that was meant to be holy and set apart for God.
God did not create us to hate each other.
He created us for each other.
We’re meant to be a blessing to each other.
“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” –1 John 4:11
“Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.” – Galatians 6:2
“For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” – Romans 12:4-5
“And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” -Colossians 3:14
Sin tries to ruin our God-designed identity as humanity’s family.
Sin tries to put enmity between us.
Sin tries to divide us.
This is nothing new.
It’s been happening ever since Genesis 3.
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1)
“Did God really say…” says the devil.
“Did God really say…” whispers our flesh.
The devil wanted to make Eve question God.
The devil wanted to plant division within the human heart.
“The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ” (Genesis 3:2-3)
Eve knew what God said.
That wasn’t the problem.
The problem was that what she knew was about to be threatened.
And this had never happened before.
Eve was not prepared for truth to be attacked. Eve all the sudden had an invasion of normalcy. Unity with God as it was intended to remain was about to be assaulted by the one who has been scheming against God from the very beginning. Satan. Eve did not know who she was up against.
And soon, humanity would never be the same.
“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:4-5)
Satan’s determination to break the design anointed on God’s humanity was wrapped up in a promise of eternal life.
Eve didn’t need his promise. She was already designed for eternity. But that’s how evil does.
Evil always makes a counterfeit promise.
And it never comes through.
It tricks every time.
Eternal death was Satan’s hidden agenda and turning her against the one who created her was just what he needed to complete his mission.
“When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.” (Genesis 3:6-7)
This is where everything changed for Adam and Eve.
No more watering the flowers in luscious Garden of Eden bliss…
No more singing with the bluebirds in the sun…
No more dancing with the bunnies of the forest…
No more peace…
No more calm.
Satan was about to damage humanity forever. All with one lie. And creation was sabotaged. Our design for unity hacked and rewired.
Hatred spewed in like the breaking of the Hoover Dam.
It was never meant to leak in.
But it did.
Thankfully, Jesus has come to save the day. And He will come again to rescue us into the real eternal life that only He can promise and fulfill.
But we’re still here in this broken, grieved earth. The same earth assaulted by Satan in Genesis 3.
Now Satan along with sin continues his assault….whispering lies in our ears causing misunderstanding… skepticism… disunity… prejudice… bitterness… and on and on…
Lies that break our original design for harmony.
Lies that cause us to assume the worse about others.
Lies that cause us to doubt each other.
Lies that plant animosity and hatred within humanity’s family on earth.
Lies that causes some people to carry out their evil desires and hurt others.
Lies that kill.
We have become estranged it seems.
Throughout the Bible and throughout all of history, we have witnessed story after story of division within humanity’s family and how that division attempts to ruin our identity.
You don’t even have to pick up a book to confirm this.
Many stories are already imprinted into the fabric of our memories and ancestral histories.
And it hurts.
Sometimes, it hurts so much that even we are who God’s people are tempted to rebel against our God-designed identities as well and let these negative feelings overtake us. Sin continues to stir negative emotions within the human heart that lead to anger, rage, division, prejudice, pride, and selfishness. And it can be hard to push aside.
I myself have difficulties experiencing some of these emotions at times.
The devil hates us.
And he wants nothing more than to make us to hate each other and wreck our God-designed destiny for humanity’s family here on earth.
It’s working isn’t it?
The devil seems to be winning.
It seems humanity does hate one another.
War after war. Violence after violence. Killing after killing. Prejudice after prejudice. Rudeness after rudeness. Belittling after belittling. Sin after sin.
What’s problematic is that so many forms of hatred are masked by human rationality.
Human nature causes us to find a “reason” to hurt one another.
Just like Satan did.
Satan had a “reason” for why Eve should disobey God.
Sin always has a “reason” for why it’s okay to do the wrong thing.
A “reason” that’s always disturbing.
Hitler wanted to kill Jews out of a communal-unity-purity “reason,” ISIS kills out of a religious-ideological “reason,” thieves steal out of a lack-need “reason,” slavery existed out of a financial-greed-economic “reason,” I sin against God out of self-preservation “reasons.”
“Reasons” that hurt other people and/or ourselves are never okay!…”
Reasons saturated by sin are an abomination to the brain-functioning capabilities.
It’s freaking messed up what humanity capable of!
Too many reasons.
Why did you do [that]? asks the judge every time.
There’s always a “because…”
A disturbing reason.
A disturbing reason for doing the wrong thing.
Sin always persuades you with a reason.
Don’t fall for it.
Satan has contaminated our identities and he’s trying to make us act like him when we were created to act like Jesus. Too often we fall for it. How grateful I am for Jesus’ grace.
It’s human nature to try and justify a wrongdoing according to what we think is good for us.
And that’s a problem!
Because it causes innocent people to get hurt. Even killed.
My hearts hurts for the families of… Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, Trayvon Martin, the 5 Dallas police officers, the now 3 Baton Rouge police officers and so many countless billions of others recently and throughout history who have been harmed and/or murdered unjustly.
My heart grieves at the animosity boiling in our country between black and white.
My heart is unsettled over the fact that so many are hurting and unheard and misunderstood.
Battling each other will never solve anything.
I’m not here to offer up the perfect solution.
I don’t have one.
I wish I did.
But I do know we need to seek to learn how to love each other better, understand one another, and feel what others are feeling.
Feeling what others are feeling and cultivating empathy is incredibly important.
Empathy is one of the strongest cultivators of love.
Because what you feel drives how you: think, respond, and act.
And that’s what Jesus did to draw us to Himself.
Jesus came down to be like us so He could feel what we feel.
“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him… Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” –1 John 4:9, 11-12
We need to go out of our way to do whatever it takes to understand each other’s pain so that we can share in empathy with each other.
Paul exhorts us in Romans 12:15 to “Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.”
We must start with ourselves when it comes to each of our individual roles in this whole family of humanity and the sin that divides us. We are all living here on earth. We are all involved. We are all contributors, whether by action or inaction. We must each analyze our hearts and recognize the sin that is cultivating any kind of division within humanity’s family, and change it, so that we may seek the welfare of one another.
I have to examine my own heart and discover the wickedness within me before I can expect anybody else to change.
What I am encouraged by is this: there is a lot more good than evil.
I am encouraged but what I have witnessed so far in Dallas surrounding the police officer shootings, with people coming together and seeking to better understand one another, acknowledge that we have not done our best to love each other well, create dialogue and conversation regarding the escalating tensions surrounding race, and seek healing together.
This is an opportunity to show the devil who we are in Christ!
To show who we as humanity were created to be!
The good news is, 1 Peter 2:9 declares WHO WE REALLY ARE!
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (emphasis mine) – 1 Peter 2:9
God has called us out of darkness.
Into His light.
We were not created to hate each other.
We were created to display the beauty of God together: every race, every culture, & every color. It’s beautiful just like God created it to be!
We were created to love one another no matter how much it costs us.
We were created to mourn with those who mourn no matter how uncomfortable it is.
We were created to pursue justice, love mercy and walk humbly with our God no matter how inconvenient it is.
For we are God’s chosen people!
This is who we are.
May we take back our God-designed identity as humanity’s family.
May we be known by our love.
“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
– Philippians 2:1-4
Questions for Today:
- What role have I played in the injustices of our world?
- Is there any hostility, prejudice, anger, pride, or other negative emotion remaining undealt with in my heart?
- How can I better understand and empathize with my fellow brothers and sisters?
- What is my posture towards racial injustice and racial reconciliation and what am I doing for the cause of Christ to make a positive impact?