This week my company offered the opportunity for all of us to watch, and discuss in many open forum locations, the movie The Hate U Give.
I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to watch this movie at work with people from so many different ethnic/cultural/socio-economic backgrounds. And to discuss the issues together, in open dialog and with a tone of respect and even love, was eye opening.
Many of the topics we discussed were not new to me. I’ve been an manager and in the corporate world for over sixteen years and we have training on diversity and inclusion.
But this movie and the open discussions following were a little more eye opening and emotional. To see a Vice President, who is a black man, that I respect and have worked with many times over the years, tear up about the unconscious bias that he and his sons face, touched my heart and mind in a way I can’t fully describe.
I want to do all that I can to make sure that my children understand that we live in a complex environment with experiences that shape all of us and we must take time to try and learn from each other.
This is not just a nice thing to do. This is a God thing to do. God is love (1 John 4:7-8). Loving our neighbor means we need to try and understand what they are dealing with without taking sides all the time based on a group we are pushed into by the media or our own family.
Take a minute to educate yourself on what these terms mean and do research to help understand the historical issues that have shaped the people around you. And take time to watch this movie. I promise it is worth it to help understand how to better love your neighbor.
There was a measurable level of relief I felt once the horn blew and the runners were on their way.
I walked across the road to look over a tunnel that the runners were running through. And as I watched them run by I literally raised my hands in joy and praise to the Lord.
Not just because of the coming end of this first race and the months of planning. But because of the beautiful day, the wonderful volunteers and the ability we had to show all those runners what it means to put Christ’s love into action.
We shared how the money raised would be used for water purification systems for people we don’t even know. And this water that sustains the body will also be used to share the living water of Christ with those in need.
Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”
John 4:13-14 NASB
In true form I’m already thinking about the next event.
We only have a few short years here on the sphere to work on the mission.
“And He said to him, ” ‘ you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart , and with all your soul , and with all your mind .’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘ you shall love your neighbor as yourself .’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.””
Matthew 22:37-40 NASB https://bible.com/bible/100/mat.22.37-40.NASB
If you say you love God but hate your neighbor, you are a LIAR!
“Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent His One and Only Son into the world so that we might live through Him. Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another. No one has ever seen God. If we love one another, God remains in us and His love is perfected in us. This is how we know that we remain in Him and He in us: He has given assurance to us from His Spirit. And we have seen and we testify that the Father has sent His Son as the world’s Savior. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God — God remains in him and he in God. And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him. In this, love is perfected with us so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment, for we are as He is in this world. There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears has not reached perfection in love. We love because He first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For the person who does not love his brother he has seen cannot love the God he has not seen. And we have this command from Him: The one who loves God must also love his brother.” 1 John 4:1-21 HCSB