By Waylon Bailey ~
I lived through the 60s. Those were my teenage years. They were very difficult.
This past week was also very bad.
Maybe I’ve forgotten a lot, or, maybe this really has taken racism, anger, and bitterness and reset it to a whole different level.
How do we learn to live in this very different world?
Here are four lessons that immediately come to mind.
First, reach out to people who are different. For me, different people would be black or Hispanic. For you they might be white or black or Hispanic.
We really can’t learn to live together until we begin learning who we are. I have some wonderful black friends. I enjoy them immensely, and I respect them deeply.
It’s time that we get to know one another.
Second, find someone to be kind to. Start at home, take it to work and church, and be patient in the grocery store. Sincerely look for people to treat as you want to be treated.
Bo Jackson, the athlete, tweeted this Thursday night after the police shootings: “Before you go to sleep tonight, I challenge every single one of you to do something nice for a complete stranger. Our world needs that.”
Third, begin looking at people differently. See them for who they are – – they are created in the image of God and people for whom Christ died.
If that will not change the way you see other people, the problem is spiritual rather than physical.
Finally, deal with your issues related to anger, respect, and bitterness. The apostle Paul told us to get rid of all of these negative areas: “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice” (Ephesians 4:31). Replace those actions and emotions with Christ-like compassion: “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).
Find someone to help you. Look for a counselor, a pastor, or attend a recovery ministry. Don’t sweep it under the rug. Don’t assume you can handle it (those are famous last words).
America is different. We must learn to live in this different world.
I write a blog about life and Scripture each day. If you would like to receive this on a daily basis, you can subscribe at WaylonBailey.com.