I am proudly Zimbabwean born and proud to be a British citizen.
Over the last few weeks, I have found myself oscillating between fear, anger and sadness over the social justice and political situations in the two countries I love and belong to.
I’ve tried my best not to engage in the politics of it on social media but I’d be lying if I said I’ve not had a discussion or two (occasionally heated) with friends and family.
So, my question today is what does it look like to engage in the political and social justice issues around me in a way that lines up with the word of God. Here’s a summary of my thoughts:
Passivity is not an option
The bible says, “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne…” In the book of Luke, Jesus tells a parable about a man who had been beaten by robbers and left for dead. Two men walked past him, both times choosing to look the other way. Finally a Good Samaritan walks by and stops to help the injured man.
The morale of the story from the mouth of Jesus was “Go and do likewise.” Desmond Tutu once said “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”
Now is the time to pick up your cross and go.
Watch your life.
There are many things we engage in which can feed an unhealthy thought life. For me, I’ve found that social media can be very unhelpful. Take the comments sections for example, a place so rife with conflict that people jokingly admit “I just came here to read the comments”. Although sometimes it seems like light-hearted entertainment, the comments section now seems to be a place where prejudices are born.
1 Timothy 4:16 says “Watch your life and doctrine closely.” We need to make sure we’re not getting my daily devotion from the church of Facebook.
Love never fails.
One of the great things about being a Christian is that God gives me his heart. Slowly but surely, He changes my heart and makes me see the world the way He does.
However, this transformation can be a very fragile as we wrestle with our own human hearts. What God intended to be a heart for justice can quickly turn to hate directed towards anyone who disagrees with us and we find ourselves behaving exactly the way the oppressor first did.
We become self appointed Judges dealing verdicts and sentences, a job that belongs to God (and the courts) alone – no matter how heinous the crime is.
In these moments, we must remember what first moved our hearts.
Was it seeing your fellow countrymen struggling to make a living because the police take all their day’s earnings at yet another roadblock?
Was it seeing the Police taking another man’s life too easily, seemingly because of the colour of his skin?
I believe these are all very admirable and worthy causes as long love remains the cornerstone of how we resolve them. Violence and hate is never the answer.
Calling all Intercessors (that’s ALL Christians)
Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world…”
Therefore no matter how it seems, we do not waste time fighting people. We fight our battles on our knees in prayer.
Isaiah 62 6-7 says “I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth.
Intercessors your time has come – take your marks!
The KING still reigns.
Despite all the turmoil, do not lose heart. God sees all and He cares. Amos 2 6-7 says
“This is what the Lord says:
‘For three sins of Israel, even for four, I will not turn back my wrath. They sell the innocent for silver, and the needy for a pair of sandals. They trample on the heads of the poor as on the dust of the ground and deny justice to the oppressed.”
AND, He PROMISES to restore…
Isaiah 51: 3-4
The Lord will surely comfort Zion and look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing. Listen to me, my people; hear me, my nation: Instruction will go out from me; my justice will become a light to the nations.
Look to the word for comfort and be still – He will make everything beautiful in its time.