How to Stop the Current Violence in America: "Hatred...or Hesed?"
It’s crazy. The images of carnage. The blatant anger. The hurt and frustration. The escalating conflict and animosity between races and with authorities. What is the solution? “Hesed.” It all started this week here in Baton Rouge with another senseless killing of a man who sold CDs.
On my way to the hospital last night, I saw a young couple of another ethnicity broken down on the side of the road. The Lord spoke to me: “Show them My hesed.” (“Hesed” is the Hebrew word for “kindness, mercy, covenant faithfulness.”)
I pulled off and took the young man to the store for some radiator fluid. On the way, he thanked me and asked me why I would help him. I said, “God sent me as a messenger of Jesus Christ to show you His kindness.”
After water, jumper cables, and other means failed to start their overheated car, they found transportation home. I could see the amazement in their eyes as I told them I was “on mission” and that there was absolutely NOTHING they could ask me to do that would be too much.
How will we overcome this terrible violence? By directly demonstrating between ourselves and between the races the kindness of God in practical ways. Satan cannot sow hatred when “hesed” is present. Love never fails.
Here are some practical ways we can show God’s “hesed”:
1. LISTEN to the hurts of other people groups.
- Listening is love. Put yourself in their shoes. Their loss, their hurt, their frustration, their anger is real. They are not making it up.
- Empathize and see things from their perspective. Shut your mouth and hear their heart. Let them see that you are unbiased, open, and concerned about their plight (like Jesus with the woman at the well).
2. PRAY for and honor those in authority.
- Paul told us to pray for those in authority. Honor is when I look past the person to the position they occupy. God gave them their authority and you must honor God even when you don’t honor them.
- A policeman will always be imperfect, defective, and perhaps even biased. He is similar to any judge or politician who is given power and responsibility.
- Paul said to “give honor to whom honor is due.” Peter said to “honor the Emperor” (NERO, the worst emperor in Rome’s history).
- Offer to help an officer. Show them honor. Offer to pray for them. Tell them you are praying for wisdom in split second decisions that they never over react and kill an innocent person.
3. BRIDGE over to other churches.
- The body of Christ is the only restraint in America when authority breaks down. We “outnumber” those who seem to look forward to America’s demise.
- Interact with other members of the body of Christ. Schedule prayer services and outreaches together.
- Baton Rouge has had the “Serve225” outreach scheduled since December of last year. This month, on July 23rd, up to 10,000 Christians from 20 churches (from all races) will be showing the “hesed” love of God by cleaning up neighborhoods, passing out water, painting schools, and emptying garbage. What a Divine timing for a demonic attack!
“Hatred or hesed?” We CAN “heal and seal” the damage already done to the feelings and sensitivities of America’s races. We CAN start a revival of genuine love, listening, and labor. We CAN restore honor for all nationalities, people groups, and political officials.
Who will you show God’s “hesed” to today?
Question: “What specifically has God shown you to do in the face of the crisis in America right now?”