It has been a week or so since the shooting of the police officers in Dallas. I don’t have to tell you what happened, because that has been reported by nearly every news agency in America, both local and national.
You also know why these shootings occurred. Witnesses at the scene who spoke to the gunman have told us that they were in response to police involved deaths of minority citizens across the country.
As I sat and thought about these things, while asking the Lord to examine my own heart, I was reminded of these words found in the letter of 1 John.
We love because He first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother. 4:19-21
I have heard a lot of talk about love conquering hate and I believe it does. But, I also know that love for those to whom we have little affinity for is activated in its purest form through submission to the Lord.
Look at the first sentence of this scripture:
We love BECAUSE He first loved us.
It is impossible to give someone something that you do not first possess. You must have money to give money. You must have shelter to share a roof for the night. You must have food to share it with those who are in lack. Love is no different – you must first possess it to give it away. Love in the form that is needed for the hour is received from God by being in a submitted relationship with Him. Many use His Name to further their agendas but fail to further His love. Without love being the motivation for our interactions with one another, we will fall short in every effort – including the effort to see justice for the wronged.
We can work for justice and do so without love. We can talk about change and do so without love. We can write new laws and do so without love. We can call for unity in the Name of Jesus and do so without love.
The apostle John stated that if anyone says, “I love God” yet hates his brother, he is a liar.What we do is important to God, so the causes we stand for are important to Him.
But, the motive and reason for why we are making those stands are just as important to Him. To understand our motives requires inspection by the Holy Spirit and the desire to be right with God above all things.
Where are you in this process?
There are many things that have been done and will be done in the Name of Jesus that have nothing to do with Him!
If you don’t love your brother, then your relationship with God is already askew.
I understand the need for change yet I also know that if we don’t build from the right foundation, what we build will not be fair and loving to all. I’ve been troubled with hearing things like, “Well, I know what happened is not right, but….”
If it is not right, it is not right – period. You can’t sanitize it or justify it. We are often like little children on the playground, caught by the teacher hitting one another and responding, “He hit me first!” We justify our lack of integrity and moral courage by saying that other people control our emotions and destiny.
With this type of thinking, we are nothing more than slaves. Guess what?
Slaves don’t have the power to change their destiny. To want something is not enough, you must also possess the means to make it happen. Right now, we are wanting to make things different without the involvement of Jesus. They are messed up because of resistance to the involvement of Jesus. When are we going to learn?
Remember this: love cannot be faked or counterfeited. It is either real or a flawed and weak representation. We need the real thing in this hour.
The apostle John basically said, “If you are not right with your brother, you are not right with God. If you are not right with God, you cannot be right with your brother.”
I don’t think there is anything else that needs to be said.
Jesus, we repent for the loveless nature of our own hearts and the heart of our nation.