(“)You see and recognize what is right but refuse to act on it.
You hear with your ears but don’t really listen.”
Every time I read this verse, it pierces my heart. Although contextually it is a message to Israel from God, Truth is still true in 2016. As Christian believers, we see injustice happening all over the world. Far away, and in our backyards. We see and recognize that someone must do something, but we miss the opportunity. We refuse to act on it.
In a culture of “Go BIG or GO HOME!” it is easy to believe that one person cannot make a difference — that our small actions would do any good — so we do nothing. We shake our heads and say, “That’s not right.” We even discuss it in small groups and talk about what should be done. But then we move on, deciding that we are not significant enough to start the conversation. Or – we are not brave enough to take a stand.
In a culture that views Facebook as an opportunity to verbally attack anyone with an opposing viewpoint, it makes sense that people who truly desire to see change are hesitant to use their own voice to start the conversation. As one who avoids controversy and conflict at ALL costs, I will admit to being silent when I should have used my voice. I have been quietly observing, studying and learning that this country that I adore has allowed people to trample on the truth of true freedom.
Freedom of speech means that I have a right to share my opinion — that it can be different from yours, and that as human beings, we can agree to disagree, and still coexist in harmony.
Instead, through the relative safety of social media, freedom of speech has turned into hate and vitriol spewed towards anyone who disagrees with you.
It’s a deterrent.
(But so did the crucifixion.)
It is time for us to no longer be silent. It is time for us to hear Him calling for His people to act, and to listen. It is time for us to act on the good that we know to do. It is time we start the conversations.
- Apologize to friends who experience blatant and subtle racism — let them know you see what they experience. Ask them about their experiences.
- Interject with the voice of love and reason when friends (in person or on Facebook) start railing about things that neglect or violate other people groups civil rights.
- Pray, pray, pray.
- Search for and join groups designed to bridge the gap between cultures. (Contact me for suggestions!)
- Read articles, blog posts, anything you can find that can help you understand.
- Watch Selma. (And have tissues nearby.)
Believe that your voice is important. One comment or action may not change the world, but it might change a heart — and heart change is the only true solution to this issue. We need to act like we believe that all people are created in God’s image, and start speaking the truth in love. We can no longer remain silent — we know what is right and must act on it.