Ferguson, Race, and the Lost Art of Relationship

I sit here this Tuesday morning on November 25, 2014… perplexed. I have lines on my forehead that describe the nature of my thoughts.

Watching the stories and hearing the sound bytes about Ferguson and the racial divide that very much still exists in this country – my thoughts take me to why we repeat history – especially the worst parts of history.

One news commentator mentioned that these events continue to happen so the root cause of these problems has not been dealt with.

I couldn’t agree more.

There is an endless search for who is to blame. Trying to reconcile tragic events sends us down an emotional path where listening becomes almost impossible.

During commercial breaks, I read an article calling out “white Christians” and asking them to “wake up” to the racial issues that still plague our nation.

Let me first say I agree there is still very much of a racial divide in the United States. Let me follow this up by saying that Christians of all backgrounds are still divided over trivial issues that have no bearing on salvation, including such things as how we should worship God on Sunday mornings.

One issue that does have a bearing on eternity is our response to the two greatest commands that Jesus gave to us. Love God and Love Your Neighbor as yourself. If all of us took THIS litmus test, I wonder how many of us would pass.

Pause.

I just got lost in my thoughts. Here is why.

The root cause of why we find ourselves in this racial predicament is a sin issue. It is an issue that goes all the way to the beginning, where pride, envy and selfish ambition brought a downfall that would affect the rest of humanity.

This post is not directed toward white people, black people, brown people or any other “color”. This post is directed to ALL of us.

If we who call ourselves Christians – “Christ-Like ones” – truly understood the lost art of relationship, I believe we would find ourselves in a much different state.

The last post was on forgiveness. Still others were on vulnerability, gratitude, loving even in disagreement, what keeps us from entering into relationships – insecurity, communication – and what I have on my list will keep this blog going for months to come.

There is a lost art to relationship and the events in Ferguson, the posts I read on Facebook, the response or lack thereof from pastors and churches, and the fear of even speaking about this subject – all prove there is still a heart problem that needs to be addressed.

It is a difficult path. It is a narrow path… the one we must walk.

I realize there may be many who would read this and express their thoughts on what should be done and how we should respond.

By all means, share your thoughts.

However, before you hit that final “REPLY” button, ask yourself – Have I been an example of what it means to love my neighbor as myself? Have I truly loved God with all I am? Have I spoken words of division in private conversations, but words of unity in public? How can I be a part of the solution?

I don’t stand in judgment of anyone who has strong opinions. As a matter of fact, I put myself on the stand. What can I do to be part of the solution?

Sacramento and the surrounding regions happen to be some of the most culturally diverse areas. However, being culturally diverse does not mean that the cultures and sub-cultures that live there are in relationship, truly integrating into each other’s lives.

This is one area where I believe those who are Christians should focus their energy. Spend your efforts on finding ways of connecting on a deep meaningful level with those of other cultures – truly finding a way to communicate, understand, and grow together.

Before anyone lambasts me with their words, I am not referring to Christians in relation to those who are non-believers. I am directly speaking to the relationships we are supposed to have with each other. The relationship that becomes the example to those who are non-believers that God loves the world.

Pursue relationships with other Christians who have a different background, experience, culture, or color. Do so with the attitude of innocence – a child who is curious and doesn’t see the differences as a hindrance.

So what is the answer to Ferguson, Race and the Lost Art of Relationship?

I don’t know. I hope you weren’t expecting me to attempt to answer this difficult issue.

What I can tell you is that until those of us who consider themselves Christ-Followers can become the example of Grace and Mercy through relationship, we have no right to stand in criticism.

Thank you so much for continuing to read week after week. I would love to hear your thoughts. You can email me or respond to this post by Commenting below.

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About lostartofrelationship

Dan lives in Roseville, California with his wife, Tania and they have two daughters, Margaux (married), Miriam, a grandson and three dogs. Dan has 20-plus years of business and ministry experience, which includes positions in banking, research, orthodontic practices, churches, faith-based not-for-profits and owning his own business. He has a Masters in Business Administration from Kaplan University and currently serves on the Advisory Board for the School of Business at Kaplan assisting in Strategic Planning and the overall health of the School of Business. He is also a mobile advanced trainer for The Leadership Training Institute. For the last ten years, Dan has worked with businesses and not-for-profits of all sizes. He has an unquenchable desire to see local businesses and churches maximize their potential in their communities through those who lead and work in those organizations. View all posts by lostartofrelationship

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