Last night was a very long night for my husband and me, as well as our local law enforcement, first responders, business owners, and citizens. Much like many other cities in our nation, we became the target of rioters - NOT protesters. As we followed news reports and Facebook posts, lots of prayers were said on behalf of everyone involved. I must say that I have a new appreciation for the risks that law enforcement, first responders AND their spouses take to serve and protect the people.
It is difficult to not be angry at the kind of behavior on both sides of the issue at its root, because there is plenty of wrongdoing and blame to go around! But being angry doesn’t solve the problem, and if acted upon with violence it becomes part of it breeding hatred, revenge, and a whole host of other things! It quickly becomes a mess! These are the symptoms of a DEEPER ISSUE!
In my heart, I am a “FIXER”. I am one who works the problem to find solutions that preserve people and relationships - because that’s what I care about most, it’s the way that I am wired! This is not a ONE-SIZE FITS ALL problem, nor a ONE SIZE FITS ALL solution. There are many things that need to be addressed but we have to have people from both sides of any issue committed to working the problem to solve it - not just to point at it and say, “There it is!” (Thank you Captain Obvious!)
Right now, all I have is a heart and mind committed to praying for wisdom and insight that I don’t have. Honestly, neither do leaders who have forgotten that it is the people they have been elected and appointed to serve and protect. I have a responsibility to pray for ALL of our leaders (not just the ones I like or agree with) and I take that seriously because they make decisions that affect our lives each and every day.
We must remember that we employ elected representatives at many different levels and they govern us by our consent. When they fail, we can change our vote. If they break the law, we have a responsibility to hold them accountable to the same standard of law that we live by as citizens. There is no room for a double standard because it breeds confusion and stirs up strife. I once heard it said that, “When you break the law, you no longer have the protection of it.”
All of what we are now seeing doesn’t have to stay this way - we can be the change that we want to see in our homes, schools, neighborhoods, churches, businesses, media, and government! But solutions will not come through self-serving and self-centered opportunistic answers - it will come when people are willing to take a good hard look at what really matters and begin from that point! Sometimes we don’t know the value of what we have until it’s gone, like health, peace, jobs, family, and so much more!
So in the days ahead we have an important role to play in being part of the solution!
First - Don’t let your emotions drive your actions. Process it through the lens of truth, identifying the problem for what it is by taking your emotion out of it!
Second - Prayer is the best way to process the problem. Pray for all involved to exercise self-control and to have Godly wisdom in moving towards solutions. Ask God what your role is beyond praying.
Third - Choose to be an encourager and a positive influence towards restoration.
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Remember to check your emotions, pray, and encourage others towards solutions.