…by Chuck Graham
From an early age I have stood against racism, hatred, and injustice. Yet events in my country and the rest of the world make such efforts seem useless. There is evil in the land, blinding people to the truth, leaving them satisfied with complacency, moving them toward apathy.
And in the face of it all, so many churches do nothing. Leaders do not lead. Teachers do not teach. Words replace action. In the matter of loving their neighbor, they are lukewarm. They neglect justice, scorn mercy, and mock forgiveness. They do not share God’s love.
Jesus once asked, Will not God bring about justice for His chosen ones, who cry out to Him day and night? Will He keep putting them off? I tell you, He will see that they get justice, and quickly. But…when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?1
Where is the faith of God’s people?
Long ago those who worked for justice were commended for their faith.2 They brought God’s hope to the hopeless and His love to the unloved. Because of such faith, hope and love, hearts were changed and lives redirected. But what of God’s people who would not seek justice?
So justice is far from us, and righteousness does not reach us…Justice is driven back, and righteousness stands at a distance; truth has stumbled in the streets…[The Lord] was appalled that there was no one to intervene.3
God is not interested in apologies. He wants godly sorrow that brings repentance, especially in His people, repentance that leaves no regret. He wants to see earnestness, eagerness, indignation, alarm, longing, concern, and a readiness to see justice done.4
Last week I heard powerful messages from around the world. Three especially moved me, each centering on the same theme: Relationships Resolve Racism.5 The idea is that by engaging with others and carrying their burdens, we will come to see each other as friend and family.
I latched onto this because it is one expression of encouraging one another…the critical element in Jesus’ new command: Love one another.6 How critical? If we refuse to encourage others, we do not love them as Jesus has loved us and we do not love God with all our hearts, minds, souls and strength.
The ancient Greek word translated “encourage” gives a picture of one person standing with another. This is what God has called all of us to do. Sharing our faith, hope, and love. Changing hearts and direction. Adding action to our words. Engaging. Experiencing. Standing together. Encouraging each other.
Churches, ministries, and missions…teach people how to encourage each other.
Brothers and sisters in Christ…love one another and let others know we follow Jesus.
Friends who know injustice…let us stand together and when all is done, continue standing.
Chuck Graham is Founder and Executive Director of Ciloa, an international ministry devoted to encouraging others and teaching them how to encourage one another. Also an author and speaker, Chuck and his wife, Beverly, live in Lawrenceville, Georgia, USA. Learn more about Chuck and Ciloa at www.Ciloa.org.
Messages: (1) A Conversation on Racism and Communion, Kevin Myers, Senior Pastor, 12Stone Church, especially 29:00 to 45:00. (16 min) (2) This Human Race, Andy Stanley, Senior Pastor, North Point Community Church. (28 min) (3) A Facebook post by Cameron Glasper. (14 min)
Footnotes: (1) Read Luke 18:7-8. (2) Read Hebrews 11:39. (3) Read Isaiah 59:9-16. (4) Read 2 Corinthians 7:10-11. (5) “Relationships resolve racism” was said by Gary (sorry, we don’t know his last name) during his discussion with Kevin Myers in A Conversation on Racism and Communion. (6) Read John 13:34-35.
Pictures: Banner Photo: Denver Police Chief and Protestors 6-1-2020, by Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images, CBS Denver.