Five Steps Forward In Today's Times
DAY 7 | FIVE STEPS FORWARD IN TODAY’S TIMES
The hope is for the Christian is to engage, not retreat. It’s to step forward not back. Below are 5 steps you can take to grow in unity, in the midst of diversity.
1. Listen before you label. We have to stop shutting others down and listen more. We too easily fail to engage the person and feed on the problems. We all have to address the issues more intelligently. Be slow to jump on sides, or communicate opinions, recommend books, post links, or like comments on FB.
a. If someone stands against Cultural Marxism this doesn’t not mean they are a racist and aren’t willing to acknowledge or engage on issues such as injustice, inequality, or racism.
b. If someone stands up against injustice, or is even out on the streets marching, and seeking to advocate against discrimination or racism, this doesn’t make them a Marxist!
2. Go the extra mile. Jesus said…And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles (Matthew 5:41). As Christians we are called to go the extra mile in times like these. Here are three areas I would challenge you.
a. People. We all are called to love neighbors. This has, perhaps, never been harder in American culture in our lifetimes. Pick up the phone, call, invite a friend to lunch, don’t be so quick to judge. Go the extra mile to keep unity and relationship, despite your differences.
b. Bible. We need to read the Bible more than other books, blogs, sermons, or other media. You’ve got the word of God; the word of man is far less valuable.
c. Issues. We need to dig into the issues. Read the websites and belief statements. Fish from another pond. We ought to concern ourselves with issues such as the prison system, the educational system, and the welfare system. Not seeing politics as evil but as means that God has designed through which to help preserve and protect humanity. As Christians we can intelligently engage, and vote our values in times of election. Pray for wisdom as it relates to people and how to interact.
3. Acknowledge. Acknowledge that you fall short. Acknowledge when you fail to listen. Acknowledge if you have failed to engage, care or show compassion. Acknowledge that you care and want to grow better together. Acknowledge that you want to listen and need to listen. Acknowledge that there is sin in the world and the need for Jesus and more of God’s Kingdom on Earth is a good thing!
4. Vote your values. It’s election season for Arizona. You should take the time to read up on the issues and those running for office. You can change your community by who you vote into office. Consider your Christian values and vote for them. It’s the best way; it’s God’s way. Take for example the Ten Commandments. Every civilization in the world in all of human history holds to a similar structure of beliefs and law of ethics. As Christian, we have the New Testament and the Old Testament, which form our Bible. The Bible ought to serve as the source of your values. So vote, but when you vote, remember your values.
5. Trust in God’s Sovereignty. As I think of the times we are in, I have to remind myself of how good God is no matter what. I think of the story of Joseph, who was sold into slavery by his brothers, falsely accused, falsely imprisoned, but still made one choice after another to honor God, despite his situation. He was then promoted to the second highest position in all of Egypt, and when trouble hit, a famine struck the land, guess who showed up for help? His brothers. The very ones that sold him into slavery. When Joseph came to this point in his life, he with wisdom said, “What you intended for evil, God has meant it for good.” (Genesis 50:20)
What this means for us is that God has allowed this evil that’s in our world today: the injustice, the violence, the division, the anger, but he will use it for good. That’s something you’re going to have to trust me on. God is already using the current events of racial tensions to make us wake up, see the injustice, pay closer attention, not believe everything read or see on TV, to listen to the other side, to talk with other races. Churches all over the country are starting to do what we’ve done, open up the conversation and dialogue regarding racial issues in our country. God is using this for a great deal of good; what man intends for evil, God promise to use for good, as we trust in him!
Hope this helps. You can find more content on this website, on our Facebook Live on Tuesday nights at 7:30 pm for Real Life with Ryan.