How to Tend to a Hurting Heart
Ahmaud Aubrey. Breonna Taylor. George Floyd. Sean Reed. Tony McDade. David McAttee.
You would have to be living under a rock to not recognize these names.
Regardless of your stance on this situation, these murders have brought to light the root of racial oppression in not just the history of America, but the traces of racism that are still lingering today.
My heart has been so heavy these past few weeks, I have really struggled on how to process all of the evil in our country.
There is no place for racism in the Kingdom of God. Christianity and racism do not mix. Racism is a sin with an evil root.
I believe that all men are made in the image of God. I believe that all men are created equal. I believe that our differences, race, personality, hair color, etc. demonstrate the uniqueness of God.
I will not ever understand racism. It is impossible for me, a white woman in America, to ever experience racism. My family will never experience racism. Most of my friends will never experience racism. I will never understand.
I am so guilty of ignorance. Never being in situations of racism, or just believing the best in people, or thinking that it wasn’t happening just because it wasn’t happening under my nose.
I identify my ignorant character and sincerely apologize for not be aware of what was and is going on.
I refuse to be ignorant anymore. I will never understand or experience what it’s like to be a person of color in America today. But that will not stop me from using my voice and resources to help put an end to racism.
People are crying out from a hurt heart, and a hurt heart needs a Healer.
Our country needs Christ more than ever right now and we need to be his hands and feet.
In the words to come, I will be sharing how we can best respond to all of the hurt from racism in our world right now and how we can best handle the chaos the way Jesus would. Here are six steps we can take, and scriptures we can follow to help tend to the hurting hearts in our communities.
Start from a heart of love. Love everyone, the way Christ does.
1 Corinthians 13:6 (HCSB) Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth.
Colossians 3:14 (HCSB) Above all, put on love — the perfect bond of unity.
Luke 6:32 (HCSB) If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.
Matthew 5:44 (HCSB) But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
1 Peter 1:22 (ESV) Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart,
1 John 3:23 (ESV) And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.
Galatians 5:13 (ESV) For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
Listen to the cry of those who are hurting. We all know pain, but it comes in all different shapes. Just because their pain is different, doesn’t mean it’s not real.
Psalms 5:1 (HCSB) Listen to my words, Lord; consider my sighing.
Matthew 11:15 (HCSB) Anyone who has ears should listen!
Matthew 13:9 (ESV) He who has ears, let him hear.”
Job 34:2 (ESV) “Hear my words, you wise men, and give ear to me, you who know;
Job 36:10 (ESV) He opens their ears to instruction and commands that they return from iniquity.
James 1:19 (ESV) Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.
Educate yourself. Through scripture, through history books, through other people’s personal experiences, etc. Learn about the root of the cause, whatever it may be.
Proverbs 8:5 (ESV) O simple ones, learn prudence; O fools, learn sense.
Psalm 119:71 (ESV) It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.
Psalm 119:73 (ESV) Your hands have made and fashioned me; give me understanding that I may learn your commandments.
Proverbs 19:25 (ESV) Strike a scoffer, and the simple will learn prudence; reprove a man of understanding, and he will gain knowledge.
Isaiah 1:17 (ESV) learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.
4. Lift Up
Encourage one another, pray for one another, cry with one another. Be a light.
Matthew 5:16 (ESV) In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
John 8:12 (ESV) Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
1 Thessalonians 5:11 (ESV) Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:14 (ESV) And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.
2 Timothy 4:2 (HCSB) Proclaim the message; persist in it whether convenient or not; rebuke, correct, and encourage with great patience and teaching.
2 Samuel 19:7 (HCSB) Now get up! Go out and encourage your soldiers, for I swear by the Lord that if you don’t go out, not a man will remain with you tonight. This will be worse for you than all the trouble that has come to you from your youth until now!
Philippians 4:13 (HCSB) I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.
5. Be Liable.
Hold each other liable. If you see someone talking or acting in a way that defies Christ’s teachings, say something. Help lead them in the right direction.
Proverbs 27:17 (HCSB) Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.
Psalm 25:9 (ESV) He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.
Romans 2:21 (ESV) You then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal?
Jeremiah 10:24 (ESV) Correct me, O Lord, but in justice; not in your anger, lest you bring me to nothing.
Psalm 51:10 (ESV) Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
James 5:16 (ESV) Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
Long for change, long for restoration, long for peace, long for unity. Long for the courage to take the step or action that God has laid on your heart.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 (ESV) pray without ceasing,
Matthew 6:6 (ESV) But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
Luke 5:16 (ESV) But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.
Proverbs 21:15 (ESV) When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.
Amos 5:24 (ESV) But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
Isaiah 30:18 (ESV) Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.
Isaiah 61:8 (ESV) For I the Lord love justice; I hate robbery and wrong; I will faithfully give them their recompense, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.
Psalm 37:27 (ESV) Turn away from evil and do good; so shall you dwell forever.
Psalm 37:28 (ESV) For the Lord loves justice; he will not forsake his saints. They are preserved forever, but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.
Psalm 106:3 (ESV) Blessed are they who observe justice, who do righteousness at all times!
Proverbs 28:5 (ESV) Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the Lord understand it completely.
Jeremiah 22:3 (ESV) Thus says the Lord: Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the resident alien, the fatherless, and the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place.
I don’t have all of the answers or solutions. But I do have a voice to speak, a heart to love, and a God to trust, I will start there.
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