I belong to a book group devoted to reading ‘inspirational’ fiction. The September and October books were about the South during the 60’s. (19, not 18). They were good books, but I find the whole genre of social commentary or awareness boring, like soap operas.
The endless discussion and dissection of how fallen we are solves nothing. Even if something good happens to a character, or social change is made, or there is a happy ending, none of the real underlying problems are solved.
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I’ll admit it right now, to start with – I am not black. I really have no notion of the burdens or pain that discrimination causes. The mild discrimination I run into as a woman (think car repair shops) in no way qualifies me to discuss racial issues.
But is race (or gender, or salary, or education, or hair color or whatever) really the issue? I think all those are just excuses people use to do what we all have been doing since Adam and Eve blew it in Eden’s Garden and lost their (and our) position in God.
The bottom line is that we are a fallen, sinful race. Every one of us is born with the feeling, the knowing, that we are not where we belong, that we are not accepted and loved the way we need to be. And every one of us tries to fix this, in some way or another.
Some try to achieve wealth, social status, stardom, or college degrees, in the attempt to make themselves feel worthwhile. If people look up to them, they must be worth loving. If they’ve achieved more than most people, they will have to be accepted.
Others try to make themselves feel worthwhile by making others look bad. Everything from empire building, to genocide, to slavery, to cyber-teasing is caused by someone trying to prove to others, and ultimately themselves, that they are wonderful. By proving that others are not worthy, they prove that they themselves are deserving of love and acceptance.
And we all try to find that one person who will love and accept us no matter what.
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We can write books from now to the end of history about how one set of humans treats another set. We can make movies or plays to stir up the audiences’ social consciousness. We can even set up charitable foundations to pour money into problem areas. But none of that changes basic human nature.
Until a heart finds its home in Father God’s unconditional love and acceptance, the way it treats others will not change.
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Every great move of God since the birth of the church has brought about social change. Every one! But the change came because people met their God, and knew His love, and felt His heart for a lost and hurting world. Then they changed their society.
It’s time for another move of God, another time of spiritual and moral change. But it needs to come from knowing God – personally, intimately.
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May you meet and know Father God in that way, and may you find your true worth in His eyes, and nothing else.
And from that, may you reach out to extend His love to someone else, to change the social structure of your world.
P.S. A really excellent book to read on this subject is ‘Searching For God Knows What’ by Donald Miller. Check it out.