As we seek to understand and discern ways to uproot racism in our culture and in our very own lives, we must bathe the entire process in prayer. This is a worthy task, but it’s a task that only God can accomplish. We must ask God to reveal blind spots in our own lives. We must ask Him to give us the humility, love, boldness, and self-discipline needed for reconciliation to occur.
Psalm 139:23-24 | James 5:16 | John 17
Christians have been given the ministry of reconciliation, but in order for reconciliation to occur, empathetic listening is paramount. During Job’s season of suffering, his friends became proximate, as they silently and patiently listened to him as he mourned. Healing takes time, and those who grieve need space to express themselves. Love should lead us to take a posture of listening as we seek to patiently understand. Listen to the stories of minorities, listen to their pain, and listen with a heart to understand.
Job 2:11-13 | James 1:19 | Proverbs 17:28 | Psalm 141:3
Educate yourself through reading books and articles from prominent minority speakers and leaders. Consider following social media handles such as: @jackiehillperry @Lecrae @LeonceCrump @jordanLRice @CharlieDates @pastoremase. Be intentional about learning the unique customs and cultures tied to ethnicity. The Apostle Paul often sought to learn the customs and ways of the community around him in order to better love them with the gospel. The church should do the same.
(Scroll down further to browse Resonate's Resources for Racial Reconciliation.)
1 Corinthinans 9:19-22 | Phillippians 2:1-8
Lament Psalms are the most common Psalms you’ll find in the Bible. It’s appropriate and biblical to lament when injustice and evil is present. It’s appropriate to lament the fact that maybe you’ve never lamented over racial injustice before. Injustice and racism grieves the heart of God. We are called to ‘bear one another’s burdens’ and ‘weep with those who weep’. We are not called to forget each other’s pain. People are allowed to grieve, and grieving takes time. We should come alongside and grieve with our brothers and sisters of color for as long as it takes.
Romans 12:15 | Galatians 6:2 | Psalm 16 | Habakkuk
Once we’ve prayed, listened, and learned...it’s time to speak. Often, especially in the past, our brothers and sisters of color had to speak up for themselves while everybody else remained silent. The Bible is clear; Christians are to speak up for the oppressed. As Eric Mason points out, “the Church should be the main communicator about challenges that happen in our country on race and justice.” Not the government. Not the entertainment industry, but the church. Because the Church more than anything else on the planet should care about the dignity of God’s people. God’s people, the church, must open their mouths and call evil...evil and good...good.
Proverbs 31:8-9 | Isaiah 1:17 | Ephesians 5:11 | Ephesians 4:15 | Colossians 4:6
There is a way to be angry and not sin. It’s appropriate to be angry at the injustices in our society, but we must be careful not to let that anger turn into bitterness, resentment, and un- forgiveness. The will of God is that the Church would be a forgiven and forgiving people. For those who have been granted grace, the natural response is to give grace. ‘Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors’...is a DAILY PRAYER. It’s not a one-time deal...it’s a continual...dying to yourself...life-long process.
Matthew 6:12 | Romans 12:5 | Matthew 5:44 | Proverbs 24:17 | Luke 6:28
Hope is a defining characteristic for the Christ follower. The people of God have always been known as people of hope. Christians should lament and grieve, but they should do so with much hope. The reasons Christians have hope is because our hope is rooted in the redemptive authority of God. Because God applies His sovereignty and goodness to his redemptive plan, we wait patiently through times of suffering, knowing in time He will redeem all things for His glory. For we know what the Scripture say...a day is coming when an innumerable multitude of redeemed peoples from every tribe, tongue, and nation, will be worshipping Christ in unison.
Revelation 7:9-10 | Revelation 21- 22 | Romans 15:13 | Psalm 39:7