Read: “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24 (NIV)
Reflect: When I first heard about NFL player, Colin Kaepernick, kneeling during the national anthem to bring awareness to injustice for minorities in America, I told a friend at work, “I guess I understand where he’s coming from, but that’s not the right way to do it.”
Soon after, I was having a similar conversation with an African-American friend. She heard my sentiment and paused before offering a different perspective by explaining to me what it’s like to teach her sons that if/when they are ever pulled over, it could be a life or death interaction. More telling was her question about why I was more upset about the kneeling than the systematic injustice toward African-Americans in so many walks of life. She pointed out that she and her husband would make less than a white person and wouldn’t have the same opportunities for jobs or even home loans. The discrimination she endured as a professional, educated, Christ-loving woman in her 40’s was happening here and now, not to someone in another place and era.
I’ve had the privilege as a white woman to never need to think about these things or how to fight them. It has been far easier to shake my head at an NFL player for taking a stand in a way I don’t approve of, than to examine the very reason for his kneeling. This is not reflective of God’s Kingdom. Hearing from friends I love about the reality they face has flipped my perspective completely; I want to join the fight with them. Jesus is clear that we are to stand up and help those who need it. That means our compassion flows to people first and politics or policies second. Our fight is for justice for all and shining Jesus’s love in how we think, act, vote, talk, and live makes that possible.
React: Seek to gain a more well-rounded perspective about the social issues of our day. How does following Jesus impact your views?
Pray: God, help us see with your eyes and set aside any idol we’ve put ahead of showing your love, mercy, compassion, and justice to others.