Last week, a true “man of peace”, George Floyd was tragically and violently taken out of this world. When things like this happen, it’s normal to look for someone to blame. Maybe one person. Maybe a group of people. Maybe a type of person.
Once we decide who to blame, we define them as “the enemy”.
But we all, in this world, really only have one enemy– and it’s NOT EACH OTHER! Not anyone that’s different from each of us. Not anyone that’s part of a group of people that we’ve been taught to hate, mistrust, or hold something against.
Our real enemy is– the Enemy– the one whose name means “Divider”. In English, we call him “the devil”. Wherever we see division or violence, this is where it originates from. If we look deeper, we’ll find his “trademark” stamped on any kind of attitudes, words, or actions that cause or perpetuate animosity.
Please, let’s not fight each other– whatever our race, religion, or worldview. Violence only begets more of the same. Insults only beget more of the same. Hatred only begets more of the same.
Why? Because of what these all cause in people’s hearts. Do any of us feel love, peace, or warm-fuzzies toward anyone who hurts us physically or emotionally? Not naturally! We’re wired to “get back” at them some way, however our personality does that.
But, as it says in Prov. 15:1– “A gentle answer turns away wrath”. There’s no way we can put out fires of evil by adding more fuel to it with angry words and actions!
On the other hand, gentle answers are the healing rains that put them out.
As our American President, Abraham Lincoln, so wisely and passionately quoted from Scripture, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Mark 3:25.
When Jesus said that originally, He was refuting the Pharisees who had accused Him of casting out demons with demonic power. Basically, He was reminding them that division always destroys whatever it’s dividing.
This is not to say that some issues aren’t worth taking a stand for. But we shouldn’t let the Enemy divide us over non-essential issues. And too many people, perhaps ourselves included, have too broad a definition of “essential”!
As a general rule, unity and relationship needs to take priority over issues. Again, not that we can’t disagree. But it’s HOW we disagree that leads to either greater understanding, grace, and unity vs. misunderstanding, judgmental attitudes, and division.
In John 17, Jesus prayed that all those who belong to Him “be one, even as we are one”– v.11, and v.21 expands on that– “… so that the world may believe that you [Father] have sent me.” (I recommend reading and praying that whole chapter).
In these horrible, sad, times where the Enemy has wreaked havoc and division in our country during a vulnerable time– kicked us when we’re down– with things like what happened to George Floyd, political division, rioting, etc.–
–It’s up to US to stand for, work for, spread, and demonstrate UNITY in order to defeat the real Enemy. We do this by:
1. Praying— 2 Chron. 7:14 promises us:
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
–Notice the humility it takes to do this. Pride and true prayer don’t mix.
2. Showing it between races, cultures, political leanings, generations, and genders– any way we can and need to, with anyone who is different from us.
This will answer Jesus’ prayer in John 17.
This will bring His LIGHT and HEALING to our country, towns, churches, and homes.
This will be how we defeat the real Enemy.