…Different Response to the Zimmerman Trial

Over recent weeks, the George Zimmerman trial has been at the forefront of news headlines, social media, water cooler discussions and conversations amongst family and friends in the United States. Frankly, since the death of Trayvon Martin on February 26, 2012, many have been consumed with whether or not Zimmerman is guilty or not guilty.

When the verdict was read on Saturday evening, the reaction of millions could immediately be heard and seen throughout the country. The support, as well as the opposition was expressed with fervor. The initial reaction in my own home and from my family and friends was equally passionate. Taking in the feelings of others seen on television and the thoughts of those on Twitter that evening weighed on my heart. Where I could understand that everyone had the right to their own opinion and also clear on how we could end up on different sides of our take on what actually happened; what burdened me the most was the realization that the majority (if not all) of us were missing out on an opportunity…to be different.

As I replayed in my mind so much of what I’d read and heard about the incident and the trial over the weekend, God placed the need to talk to Him about it on my heart. At first, I assumed He solely desired that I pray for the comfort of the family that lost their 17 year old young man. I cannot fathom the emotions they have experienced, and at that time, felt that it was our responsibility to cover their hearts with as much intensity as we expressed our positions on what they were going through. As I began to go in on my prayer, I realized the need for much more.

As many of us wondered whether or not violence would play a role in the response to the trial’s outcome, and as many debates continue to occur on whether or not race has been or remains a factor, the necessity for forgiveness is prevalent. Therefore, as we move forward this week and in the upcoming days; and even as the interest and enthusiasm of this trial may waiver, I charge us all to be different in our response to the Zimmerman trial.

When drawn to share our opinion on the subject at hand, let’s instead choose to  seek and ask for a heart of forgiveness – forgiveness for our own judgements of the prosecution, defense and families, and forgiveness between the Martins and Zimmermans for one another. When reading or watching news updates from witnesses, juror interviews, and more, let’s elect to think and act with a heart of compassion. Then, no matter what side we are on, we can walk in freedom from our own thoughts of disappointment, pride, resentment, anger, revenge, hatred, doubt and/or fear. We can truly be the difference He’s called us to be – and through Him love our neighbors and our enemies selflessly, and as ourselves (Matthew 22:39Matthew 5:44).

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…Meditation Moment : Titus 2:1-8

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As for you…promote the kind of living that reflects wholesome teaching. Teach the older men to exercise self-control, to be worthy of respect, and to live wisely. They must have sound faith and be filled with love and patience.

Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God. They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers. Instead, they should teach others what is good. These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children,to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.

In the same way, encourage the young men to live wisely. And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching. Teach the truth so that your teaching can’t be criticized… Titus 2:1-8 (NLT)

…Lesson in Love

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Throughout this week, I’ve recognized and learned so much about love. The fresh perspective, from the lens of His love, has helped me to realize my value in Him and the priority I should set in expressing His heart to His people. And, in the acknowledgement of the facets of His love, He’s given me a renewed fire and desire to love Him first.

In all of this, I am so thankful that He has made it explicitly clear that this love I’ve explored this week is forever for us and remains with us.

Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture…None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us. Romans 8: 35-39 (MSG)

What lesson in love is He teaching you?

…Day Full of Love

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My prayer is that you (and I) choose, today, to abide in His everlasting love. Choose, today, to recognize that He knows everything about you and despite, He loves you the same. Choose, today, to know that He desires to be in relationship with and lavish on you.

He loves you, whether you like it or not. Always has. Always will. There is no greater love.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

…Love Mandate

il_fullxfull.354545968_8uykSo many of us have our gaze fixed on love this week. In our everyday, the emotion is aimed at the people, places and things that we hold to the highest regard. But, most of all in this week, my prayer is that we each allow our attention to hone in on His love and loving mandates for us.

His real, abounding and limitless love is all about us. In as much as His heart is for us (self), His desire is also to turn our hearts outward (away from self). Daily, He tells us to:

‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments. Matthew 22:37-40

In abiding in His love, He’s calling us to reciprocate and love on His behalf. But how?

Love Mandate #1: Love Him by obeying Him. John 14:15

Love Mandate #2: Love His people in the same way He loves you. John 15:12

And why should we? Because His love impels us to (2 Cor 5:14).

Take a moment to ponder on just one facet of His love for you. What does it motivate you to do in response to Him? What does it motivate you to do for another?

…Fact about Love

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For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations. Psalm 100:5

His love never fails; it never gives up; it never runs out…

Please press play to listen. My prayer is that you will be encouraged by these facts about His love.

…Real Love

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“God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.” Augustine

Since the 15th century, Valentine’s Day has become a universal moment for lovers to pause to express their emotions for one another through the presentation of thoughtful words and gifts. As the date approaches, I believe that we all share mixed feelings regarding what the day represents – whether of joy and excitement; indifference and incuriosity; or bitterness and disdain. And, most often times, those feelings hinge from our past and present experiences in love.

No matter the sentiments you may have toward February 14, 2013, I do not want us to miss out on this opportunity and prompting to ponder on the essence of this holiday – love. But, not just that warm, fluffy, temperamental and fickle love we share with one another; yet, that God given warm, fluffy, unwavering and unending love.

I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to Myself. Jeremiah 31:3 (NLT)

His love is real, amazing, eternal, unconditional and faithful. As we and those around us prepare for the 14th (or not), allow yourself to be drawn to Him; turn your hearts toward and dwell in His love everyday this week. He loves us first. He loves us best. Let’s find our security in that.