3 Challenges For You This Week In Response To What Is Going On In Our World

2020 has been perhaps the craziest year of my life. We’ve dealt with COVID-19. We saw one of the biggest dips in the stock market along with one of the biggest swings in the unemployment rates in history. We saw the rise in popularity of a crazy Netflix show called Tiger King. We are navigating the primary election season for what is sure to be a crazy fall election. And we are witnessing the deaths of several Black individuals and the protests along with some rioting and looting that followed the most recent killing of George Floyd at the hands of a white Minneapolis police officer.

These most recent events in particular have left me reeling. We do not watch a lot of news at our house as it hasn’t historically been healthy for our minds and hearts. And yet, I realize there is an importance to being informed.

I’ve done a lot of reflection this week, and I’ve also begun with more investigation and self-education. I’ve talked to people who have different opinions than me, different backgrounds than me, and different skin colors than me. I still have a long, long way to go. Knowing full well that I have family and friends with a wide variety of opinions and perspectives on what is going on in our country these days, I have three challenges for all of us in the coming week.

3 Challenges for You This Week

  1. Examine your own heart. We all have work to do in our own hearts. I love what King David says in Psalms 51:10: “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” I also think of King David’s words in Psalms 139:23: “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” Is my heart and my mind aligned with God? Does my heart break for the things that break the heart of God? Am I doing what the Lord requires of me (“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8).
  2. Do your research. Don’t just depend on your own go-to-resources like FoxNews or CNN. Seek to understand. Check out the movie “Just Mercy” that is streaming for free on many platforms right now. Watch the “13th” documentary on Netflix. Don’t just rest there, look for resources that help explain the position of others with whom you may not agree. Do your homework.
  3. Talk to someone who is different than you. If you are white, talk to some Black people. Seek to understand their perspective. If you are a Christian, talk to someone who is Jewish – talk to someone who is Muslim – talk to someone who is an atheist. If you are conservative, talk to someone who is liberal. If you are a Democrat, talk to someone who is Republican. Go into these conversations prepared to listen and learn. Resist the temptation to convert others to your viewpoint.

Our country and our world is divided. And I believe we stand at the precipice of great calamity or a great change. Hate is not the answer, and love takes work as it often takes us out of our comfort zone. Choose love.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteousness. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your Heavenly Father is perfect.”

Matthew 5:43-48 (NIV)