When events like what’s going on in Ferguson comes up, sometimes Christians are the quickest to throw in their 2 cents and we (myself included) are often guilty of being too quick to speak. God is not shocked or surprised by any of this and in fact, would call followers of Christ to respond no differently than in any other situation. Those who follow Jesus should be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger, pray, and ask God to continually search our hearts as we move towards loving others and making disciples.
“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.” – James 1:19-21
Ferguson is just one example in the bigger picture of the way believers should conduct themselves at all times, especially in the face of adversity. Here are 3 questions to ask yourself about the situation in Ferguson before you move in to judge or speak too quickly. Ask God to search your heart in regards to these questions and to reveal to you any area of sin that you would need to repent from.
1. Am I Being Discriminatory?
I think most of us would immediately say no to this question, but again, that might be a sign of us being too quick to speak or answer. You know yourself more than anyone else except for God and are quite aware of the fact if you actually discriminate or judge someone before you know them. I’d encourage you that as a believer, the issue isn’t racism, but more of a lack of understanding of how God sees everyone.
We forget that there is value in every, single, human life. Baby, teenager, adult, white, black, you name it…we all have value in God’s eyes and Jesus paid the price for sin for all of us, not just for you. If salvation is made available to everyone through Christ, then who are we to judge someone else in any regard? We love everyone because Jesus first loved us.
“We love because He first loved us.” – 1 John 4:19
2. Am I Burning the US Flag?
As you read the news and latest updates, you’ll notice people burning the US Flag in the streets. This may come as a shock or you might get upset since we are within our own country, but have you ever “burned the US Flag?” Meaning, do you bash your government or pray for your government? How often do you gossip or complain about our President (whoever is in office at the time) or various lawmakers, judges, etc.?
Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of work for us to do as a country to glorify God again, but God is the one who puts authorities in place, not us. Again, if God is not shocked by who is in office, then what is He calling us to do and how is He calling us to respond to those in authority? Do we represent Christ well in our actions towards our government?
“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” – Romans 13:1
3. Am I Praying for Ferguson?
I have a feeling that most of us are reading news articles, watching videos, reading blogs, catching up on the latest tweets and trends, all relating to Ferguson, but are not praying. God calls us all to pray and Jesus modeled this for us when He was here. When Jesus prayed, it wasn’t just to teach us a class on prayer, but He was praying for real. If the Son of God prayed, then how in the world do we think we can get by without prayer?
If we aren’t praying, then we don’t trust God. We don’t believe He is hearing us, we don’t believe there is power in prayer, and we don’t believe it will really make a difference. Let me encourage all Christians to pray for Ferguson. Let Ferguson be a starting point for you to have a prayer life. Go beyond Ferguson into your daily life as you start the day, go throughout the day, and end the day. Keep praying and drawing near to Christ.
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.” – 1 Timothy 2:1-2