I have been spending a lot of time listening to the news and scrolling social media feeds these days. My heart is heavy with grief and frustration for so many.
In the midst of hurt and distress it is easy to get caught up in the anger. It’s simple to write aggressive messages on social media, or be swept up in physically violent responses to the outrage we are witnessing. It is difficult to stop in the midst of madness to ask the question: “What would Jesus do?”. I really want to know. How would Jesus respond to everything that is going on?
He would be fearless, but not easily angered.
He would be passionate, but lead with love.
He would weep with those weeping, and meet the frustrated where they were.
He, the prince of peace, would lead with peace.
He wouldn’t stand on the sidelines, but He also wouldn’t allow buildings to be set on fire.
He would understand that people felt outraged.
He would remind people that they are valuable.
I deeply want to understand every person’s perspective, but recognize that it is impossible for me to do. What I can do is try to respond in a way that is pleasing to God – a way that leads with love, promotes peace, and doesn’t discount the emotions others are experiencing. Every life is valuable and every person has a divine purpose here on Earth. Each person is created perfectly complex – made in the image of God, Himself.
If we love God we must love people. We at least have to try.
For those who wish to rally, we must meet them with peace. For those who feel unheard and unseen, we must have open eyes and ears. For those mourning, we must grieve with them. And we must never love begrudgingly, but truly love in the same way that God loves us: unconditionally.
We can’t just “do better”. We must try to do what Jesus would do.