My personal response to this question is to ask myself another question. Where is my own heart on the issue of injustice, and especially the racial injustice questions that are front and center in the public arena today? And how do I know my heart is right?
If you’ve wondered why I have remained silent on the non-stop reporting of the racial injustice protests and riots in our land, I can assure you it is not because I do not have an opinion. I simply realize I am prone to think too highly of my own opinion, especially if I have not taken time to investigate the facts and realities of my own heart. No good is served if I am guilty of hasty judgment or speaking before listening. There are plenty of loud, screaming voices, but very little listening by anyone it seems, except, of course, those charlatans hovering like vultures for an opportunity to seize some political gain whether it’s a good thing or not. That’s an opinion I do unapologetically share.
But for the rest, what I will say is that the problems and issues being raised by protestors will never be truly solved by policy or loud voices. We are dealing with the reality of a sin nature, something that is inescapable in every human heart. Only the transformational power of the Gospel in which individuals are made alive in Christ—reborn as new creatures whose minds and hearts are constantly being renewed—can resolve this matter of racism and violence that lives in the human heart. This is a spiritual battle that can only be resolved by spiritual renewal.
The Power of Prayer
It is interesting that this week’s blog post in which I am wrapping up the series, “Five Lessons I’ve Learned as a Grandparent—and Am Still Learning”, is about prayer. I hope you will read this final post that comes out in tomorrow’s regular post of Courageous Grandparenting.
One thing I do know is that as a human being, even though a redeemed human being, I do not possess the cleverness or power to change the hearts of men, bring resolution to this problem of injustice that has plagued the human race since the days of Cain and Abel, or to heal the desperate, flawed hearts of the human race. Only Christ can do that.
But I also know that if God’s people will get on their knees and pray for forgiveness, for healing of hearts, and for the outpouring of God’s Spirit to renew men’s hearts and minds, God promises to do things beyond our ability to imagine. Pray for our leaders. Pray that God will give them true wisdom not motivated by political advantage. Pray for hearts to be changed and for grace to abound. And above all, pray Psalm 139:23-24. “Search ME, O 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.”
Yes, I do have strong opinions about what is going on, but my opinions mean nothing if my heart is out of sync with God’s heart. I may disagree with the methodologies employed in the issues before us, but I do not believe anger, rioting and violence ultimately solve what needs to be solved. It only tends to fuel more injustice and greater injustices than that being addressed in the public arena now. History tells us that.
Perhaps some may feel I am darting around the issue and not saying enough. I’m sorry if you feel that way, but the solution will never be found outside of repentance, forgiveness and grace. This is a heart issue, whichever side or position you take. Only God can change hearts. In fact, that’s why Christ came and offered Himself, not only to pay the debt for our sins, but to also give us new hearts that do seek live righteously.
Oh, and one more thing. Not only ought we share the light of the Gospel into the darkness of this world, we are to also be the Gospel light in our communities. Changed hearts result in changed lives in which, like the hundreds of other people across this land, hands get dirty helping clean up and rebuild businesses and homes burned in the riots, and who pray for protestors, civic leaders, and police officers. Maybe we could invite some of our grandchildren to join us in doing something like that in our communities as the hands and feet of Jesus.
And that’s what I want to tell my grandchildren. I don’t want to get caught up into name-calling and angry rants about stuff I do not fully understand anyway. I do enough of that in private. My grandchildren need to know that my heart constantly seeks truthful assessment, and only God can do that.
I also want them to know that God requires those who are called by His name to “act justly [do justice] and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8). And perhaps that happens when get the walk humbly with God part, cultivate a heart that loves mercy, and then practice justice in every aspect and relationship in life. That’s what I want them to know because it’s the truth. It’s much better than my opinion about who is right and wrong. And I suspect it’s better than your opinion too.