The Segregated Heart

Jun 6, 2020

In 1964, the Civil Rights Act ended all laws requiring segregation. Unfortunately, it did nothing for the segregated heart. It’s 2020 and our hearts are still segregated. Our hearts are still segregated because we are sinful people. The Bible tells us this. “For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” Mark 7:21-23 

My heart is heavy. The video of George Floyd’s life being taken from him. The video of the destruction and theft across our nation. The video of the terrified little girl on her dad’s shoulders trying to get to their vandalized car in Houston. The video of the aggitators disrupting peaceful protests. The video of the National Guardsmen being berated. The video of the 75 year old man being pushed down by officers. The video of David Dorn, a retired Police Captain, lying on the sidewalk dying after being shot. All of the actions depicted in these videos are senseless! Every action taken in these videos is covered in Mark 7:21-23. What started out as a reprehensible act of police brutality has revealed that our issues don’t end there. 

We should do everything we can to eliminate police brutality. I don’t think any reasonable person, including police officers, disagree with that. We should also do all we can to extinquish racism. The term racism exists because we created different groups of race. Race is not genetic. It can’t be found it DNA. However, if we didn’t create groups of race or the term racism, it doesn’t mean the hate would not exist. The hate would still exist because we are sinful people and gravitate to people like us. We would find reasons to hate each other. According to studies, humans are 99.9% the same genetically. The .1% difference occurs within a race more than 95% of the time and less than 5% of the time between races. We are more likely to be more like people who don’t look like us. Regardless of data, seeing someone with a different shade of skin as beneath you is ignorant and sinful. There is no place for this type of hate and it should be confronted. 

I’m not writing this to try and solve all of America’s problems. I will say, communication is the only way relationships can be improved. It’s the only way marriages can be saved. It’s the only way friendships can be mended. It’s the only way divided sides can come together. Without communication there is no understaning. Without understanding there is no empathy. Without empathy there is no motivation to change. I do know that communication is step one.

As Christians, where do we go from here? What do we need to do?

We have to listen to those who are grieving and angry. 

It would do me no good to approach someone who is grieving or angry and start telling them the core of this problem is a spiritual problem. Someone who is grieving or angry needs to be heard. If we take the time to listen to those who are hurting, I guarantee we will have an opportunity to share God’s view of His creation and His love with them. If you’ve never had a personal conversation with someone unlike you about this issue, listen to someone you trust.

"Fools have no interest in understanding; they only want to air their own opinions.” Proverbs 18:2 

We dont need to be offended when we hear black lives matter. 

Black lives do matter. Saying "black lives matter" doesn’t mean all lives don’t matter. It doesn’t mean you support a particular organization. It is simply a way to express that you value those who God gave black skin. If we have a friend going through a trying time and we try to assure them we are there for them, do we end the conversation with “I love everyone” or “I love you”? We say “I love you” because we are focusing on them in their time of need. This is no different. Support those who need support.

"Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2

We need to beg God to reveal the error of our ways.

Be vulnerable before God and ask Him to show you the offensive ways in your heart. 

"Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Psalm 139:23-24

"Put me on trial, Lord, and cross-examine me. Test my motives and my heart." Psalm 26:2 

We need to see people through the eyes of God. 

If we have a problem with how someone looks, we have a problem not with them, but with God who created them. 

"So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27 

"From one man He created all the nations throughout the whole earth…” Acts 17:26

We must work with integrity and be loyal to integrity.  

The memes about watching Remember the Titans always start to circulate when racial issues surface. If you haven’t seen it, check it out. There is a scene from the movie that we really need to grasp in America. The team captain, who is white, approaches his head coach, who is black, and requests that his close friend, who is white, be kicked off the team for intentionally missing a block that causes their quarterback, who is black, to be injured. The captain was loyal to integrity and got rid of a teammate who wasn’t. It doesn’t matter if we are police officers, teachers, medical staff, store clerks or on staff at a church, we have to do our job with integrity and help get rid of those who don’t care about doing the same. Ignoring a problem allows it to grow and creates more work to solve it.

"People with integrity walk safely, but those who follow crooked paths will be exposed.” Proverbs 10:9

"The Lord is more pleased when we do what is right and just than when we offer him sacrifices.” Proverbs 21:3  

"Acquitting the guilty and condemning the innocent—both are detestable to the Lord.” Proverbs 17:15 

"Rescue those who are unjustly sentenced to die; save them as they stagger to their death. Don’t excuse yourself by saying, 'Look, we didn’t know.' For God understands all hearts, and he sees you. He who guards your soul knows you knew. He will repay all people as their actions deserve.” Proverbs 24:11-12 

We must love like followers of Christ.

Love others.  

“Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Be in agreement with one another. Do not be proud; instead, associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own eyes.” Romans 12:9-16 

We must get out of our comfort zones. 

How can we be the hands and feet of Jesus if we are confined to comfort? We have to stop being only concerned about ourselves. If we would be upset about something happening to us, a family member, or a friend, we should get upset when it happens to someone else.  

“If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much!” Luke 6:32-33 W

We have to understand our battle isn’t with other people.

Other people aren’t the enemy. It’s never an us vs them issue. It’s a Spirit vs flesh issue. We will disagree with others about a lot of things. Some topics will be related to faith and other topics may not be. It doesn’t matter if we are discussing abortion or sports, we must strive to act in the Spirit and not the flesh. If we act in the Spirit, we may have the chance to share Jesus. If we act in the flesh, we will push others away from Jesus. Our job is to share Christ with others not win arguments.

"For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12 

"The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.” Galatians 5:17

"And then Jesus told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.” Mark 16:15

A divided heart can not function. A divided house can not stand. A divided country can not survive. A divided church can not serve. Literally and figuratively, our country is burning. Hate, violence and pride are burning our country down. A fire will continue to burn until everything is gone or until something puts it out. It may subside for a while, but if it is not properly extinguished, it will ignite again. We each have a choice to make. We can allow our hearts to be segregated or we can love equally. We are all a part of the problem. We are all a part of the solution. 

Speak up for things that need to change, but don’t be idle while waiting for the change to happen. Do your part every day. Do it at home. Do it at work. Do it out in public. Be loyal to the mission Jesus gave us. Be loyal to integrity. Be loyal to justice. Be loyal to love. 

"But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentlenes, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” Galatians 5:22-23  

For unity to exist, there must be u n i. Listen, learn, love.