On Charlottesville and Listening

James 1:19 tells us, "Know this, my dear brothers and sisters:  everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to grow angry."

In Philippians, Paul tells the church to 'adopt the mindset that is in Christ Jesus' when we are dealing with conflict with one another. That means that we are called to serve one another and put the needs of the person we are talking to before our own. It does not mean to pretend we do not have a different opinion.

I have thought a lot about what to do in our current situation with the increased racial tensions. Here is my first step in being a community of Jesus whose first commandment is to love:

It is time to listen. To listen to people who disagree with you, with me. It is time to listen to people who are of a different race and culture than mine. It is time to seek out and listen to those who are the victims of racism on a regular basis and still feel their life does not matter to the rest of the nation. It is time to listen to republicans and democrats and what they think about the world. It is time to listen even to white supremacist and hear why they are so angry and what we can do to love them as well (if you question the importance of this listen to Megan Phelps-Roper's TED talk). It is time to listen to conservatives and liberals and everything in between. What does listening cost you? Little and less, and it might be the key to healing our nation, or at least the first step. Listen to other's stories and share your own.

Scripture says it: quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger.  Let us put that into practice. To me, it is self-evident statistically and personally that racism is still real, especially toward our minority brothers and sisters. If you disagree, let us start a conversation!  I want to be a part of the solution and I hope you do too. Comment on this blog, send me an email, let's start communicating with one another.

I invite you, as I will as well, to start diversifying your relationships. If every one of your friend group, church group, and family looks, thinks, talks, acts and believes like you, then its time to meet some people of different backgrounds and different viewpoints and be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger.