Some of the hardest seasons of my life, like this one, pushes me to address my identity as a woman of God and an African American woman. From reading social media posts, tweets, and articles I perceive I am not alone seeking comfort and clarity in these racially charged times.
That yes, I, an African American woman have to always evaluate and comb through my anger, impatience, and surmounting frustrations daily.
Ephesians 4:31-32 says, “31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
So, the Son of God residing in me urges me to forgive, while the black woman looks at Jesus like He’s crazy and burns with righeous fury.
But biblically, what is kindness and gentleness?
Kindness comes from within or our inner disposition. It is to show compassion and selflessness to our neighbor, acting highly sensitive to the weaknesses and needs of others. While gentleness is the external treatment or the “how” we treat people. Jesus wants us to value people’s humanity, their self worth. Handling their human spirit with care not destroying it.
Now notice, the God’s Word draws no connection to being a pushover. Kindness and gentleness are always unfairly equated to being weak minded and small willed. You can be a kind and gentle person without compromising your self worth and dignity. Jesus was no pushover. He stood fixed in His deity as the Son of God. He was kind to whom He needed to be. He asserted stood in the face of Pharisees, Sadducees and other “whitewashed tombs” Jews. His mere presence illustrating how the presence of God did not condone what these religious leaders stood for: approval of man, legalism, lack of faith etc.
The pain of being a person of color
In today’s racially charged climate, neither of these virtues are easy or attainable on either side. I have felt and am working on the blazing anger; I feel over the past month, regarding police brutality and the consistent images and videos and evidence I see of my people shoved against the hood of cop cars and slammed to the ground.
It is almost surreal. A nightmare. The sheer frequency, volume, and severity of the violence, honestly depends on the situation and mood of the officer that day.
But God expects and Jesus commands for us to be kind and gentle to each other.
So, why in the world do we need to be kind and gentle to each other?
Allow me to be blunt for a second, if you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, the Lord has an expectation whether you are “white” or “black” (or “purple”, does not matter) to show unparalleled compassion and tenderness to your neighbor or “enemy”.
Why? Because you represent the kingdom of heaven, you represent God and His family, so how greatly do we dishonor Him when we spread words of hate and fire. When we speak rhetoric of dissensions, the enemy increases in his territory.
- Satan works through racism.
- Satan works through discrimination.
- Satan works through divisions.
Showing kindness and gentleness in a secular society
Next, the Word of God calls us to stand against injustice and forms of oppression. These forms of oppression are not always going to make us feel comfortable or put us in a pleasant light. Often, these forms of oppressions have established themselves so firmly, because we, as Christians have grown complacent and comfortable living in this world instead of standing apart from it. You do not have to be a person of color or from a marginalized group to stand for the exploited.
There are numerous of verses about fighting for the poor, exploited, marginalized, widowed and stories about Jesus sitting, communing, and fellowshipping with the outcasts, and calling out the Pharisees and religious leaders for their arrogance.
- Proverbs 17:5: “Whoever mocks the poor shows contempt for their Maker; whoever gloats over disaster will not go unpunished.”
- Jeremiah 22:3-5: “3 This is what the Lord says: Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of the oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place. 4 For if you are careful to carry out these commands, then kings who sit on David’s throne will come through the gates of this palace, riding in chariots and on horses, accompanied by their officials and their people. 5 But if you do not obey these commands, declares the Lord, I swear by myself that this palace will become a ruin.’”
- Proverbs 3:34: “He mocks proud mockers but shows favor to the humble and oppressed.”
- Isaiah 1:17: “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed.[a] Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.”
In today’s wicked and sinful world, what we desperately need are kind actions and words to remind us the strength and power of God’s goodness. As God’s chosen people and holy nation, it is our duty to stand up for the those whose needs are consistently overlooked and exploited. To my white and black audience, this is actively living out the principles of God’s Word and exuding Jesus’ character in this wicked world.
What does that look like?
For African Americans, people of color
- Pray! Pray! Pray!
- Continue to protest peacefully
- Record evidence and artifacts, so we can tell our children
- Sign Petitions
- Write letters to senators and governors
- Donate resources to our impoverished communities
- Stand tall and bold, use your platforms respectively
- Do not hold grudges or judge every Caucasian person the same
What does that look like?
For non people of color
- Pray! Pray! Pray!
- Be a listener, be respectful!
- Protest with us
- Record evidence and acts of police brutality
- Sign Petitions
- Use your privilege to speak out against these systems
On both sides, or in between it does not matter if you’re a child of God, Jesus commands us to see himself in our neighbor—even if the recipient of our good deeds responds in evil and malicious ways. We’re held accountable for our personal response. At the end of the day, we have been baptized through the Holy Spirit into one body as Christ is the head. If we allow dissensions and hatred to divide into our system, it is like an illness permeating through the body. Eventually, all parts of us will become affected and the body begins to die.
For it is written, Matthew 25:35-40 says:
“35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”
Copyright © 2020 by A Meeting at the Well