This quote by Dr. Elizabeth Rios, “Justice is a God idea. It’s not a liberal idea. It’s not a political idea. It’s a God idea.” has been challenging me to look for ways we agree with each other. No matter where we land on the political or religious spectrum there are places where we would say, “We agree.” I take my lead from these words spoken by Jesus taken from the Sermon on the Mount.
38-42 “Here’s another old saying that deserves a second look: ‘Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.’ Is that going to get us anywhere? Here’s what I propose: ‘Don’t hit back at all.’ If someone strikes you, stand there and take it. If someone drags you into court and sues for the shirt off your back, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it. And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.43 “You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. 48 “In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.” (Matthew 5: 38-43, 48 MSG).
Here is the start of my list, and all of these can be true at the same time. We agree– *Extremist rhetoric on both ends of the political spectrum needs to end. *Lawlessness and violence cannot rule the streets. *Racial inequities and injustices have to stop. *Law enforcement needs our full support. *Some practices by law enforcement need to change. *Peaceful protest are the bedrock of this country. *Military and their families sacrifice for our wellbeing and need our support. *Systematic racism exists. *Anger is divisive. *There can be a world where God’s love rules. *Change requires all of us at the table.
I worship a God who loves me in my worst moments when I deserve it the least. This same God loves you too. In the same way we are called to love each other, to see the best in each other, to bring people together and as the scripture says, “Grow up.” God’s way is not the easy way. Are you willing to try? Are you willing to say, “We agree?” I know I have work to do.
How many did you agree with? What else would you add to the list? Share your thoughts here and breathe life and bring hope to others.