Before we talk about the action steps, if you haven’t already, be sure to check out the first blog post How should Christians Respond to Racial Injustices? It talks about the first two steps which are: awareness and acknowledgment. If we are not aware and if we don’t acknowledge, then we can’t be held accountable or be a Christian of action. As we finish up this last blog, we want to thank each of you for reading, sharing, encouraging, and asking questions. If we’re being honest, it’s tiring being a black person in America, but it’s even more tiring being a black Christian in America. People tell us that racism isn’t a gospel issue, slavery is in the past and doesn’t affect today, all we do is complain, etc. So your support in this season has been life-giving. Let us all continue moving forward to unify the kingdom of God with all of our differences creating true unity.
Awareness. Acknowledgment. Accountability. Action
subject to the obligation to report, explain or justify something; responsible; answerable.
Where silence has been the main response from Christians in the past, we have the opportunity to change that.
When you have been made aware, and you have acknowledged it, you are now accountable.
In high school our principal had one rule. Do right. That’s it.
Originally I hated it lol. Why? Because it made me aware of what was right/wrong, it made me acknowledge what was right/wrong, and it made me accountable for what was right/wrong. It was the worst rule for a freshman boy lol.
God shows us that we have a responsibility to do right. I would add as well that we have a responsibility to bring people with us on the journey. Why do you believe that Levi? When we’re called to love our neighbor, it is a very loving thing to help other people walk in love. As a Black Christian who is fairly well-informed on this topic of racial reconciliation, it would not be very loving of me to not educate those that are seeking to learn and join the fight.
As Christians, we are called to do right.
“If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.”
I would add that it’s good to find someone or a few friends that you trust and love that is a person of color to hold you accountable. It doesn’t have to be a week to week check-in thing unless you want that. But I would encourage you to have someone in your life that is a minority that you can be completely vulnerable with. Someone that won’t judge you or call you racist whenever you’re actually being curious and accidentally insensitive.
Ask them to point out the times that you may be saying insensitive things, ask them to help you understand their viewpoint on Kaepernick, or what white privilege looks like. Ask them to share times that they’ve experienced racism. Ask questions. Remember, clarity leads to confidence.
God calls us to be accountable for our actions and lack thereof. Who do you have in your life that holds you accountable in this journey of racial reconciliation?
process of doing something, especially when dealing with a problem or difficulty
I had a student ask me who did I believe was the most influential person of the civil rights era. I responded with two words. “White people.”
That may be a bold statement but I believe it.
Let’s be clear. MLK, Rosa, Thurgood, Malcolm all played huge parts. Not debatable. But honestly, equally I would say that white people were just as important.
White people were the voice that helped other white people see and understand that things weren’t right. Things needed to change.
Without the voice of the white person that marched and spoke up breaking systemic racism, ideologies, and methodologies; the same group of black people would be simply perceived as angry black people. Just a group of angry black people complaining and never being content with their “freedoms.”
I’ve experienced this often on social media where I’ll post about something race-related and have gotten comments or messages about all I do is complain or quit bringing up the past. But when my white sister or brother comments support and wanting to understand, that is where change begins to happen within the white community.
There comes a time where we have listened to enough sermons, listened to trusted friends, and have watched another form of injustice all over the internet and on the news. We have looked at all of the facts, we have connected the dots, and we have made the decision that what I am witnessing is not being blown out of proportion. And we know deep down inside that we need to speak out or do something but we just don’t know what to do. There are times where we don’t fully know either.
You may be at the point where you are willing to ask tough questions that help bring you clarity. You may be ready to share with friends and family your convictions even if they oppose them. Maybe you’re ready to share on social media the changes that need to be made. Lastly, you may be ready to make sure another case isn’t getting swept under the rug so you notify whoever needs to be notified so it’s given the proper attention. Wherever you are in the process that’s ok. But be bold and take the next step. Keep moving forward.
- Start with humility. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you become more aware, sensitive, and active in the fight.
- Listen. Listen well. Don’t interrupt. Don’t listen to argue. Listen to understand.
- Diversify your friend groups. What do your friend groups look like? Do you have different races in your friend groups?
- Love your neighbors. Have neighbors or friends that are minorities? Invite them over for dinner. Get to know them and build a relationship with them and learn about them and their culture. It may be uncomfortable. But necessary.
- Diversify who you follow. Shaun King, Latasha Morrison, Austin Channing Brown Eric Mason, etc.
- Share/comment on social media posts about racial injustices. White voices tend to carry more weight. Don’t be afraid to comment or share.
- Have conversations with your family and friends.
- Sign the petition. Help hold those that are responsible accountable.
- Check on your friends of color. When injustices happen, reach out to your brothers and sisters of color. Text them, call them, DM them, reach out to them. This is a huge action point. We often feel alone and misunderstood and support in this way is life-giving.
- Bring someone along with you. As you begin to learn, send that information to them and share your opinion and ask them theirs.
- Show yourself grace. You will make mistakes. You will accidentally say racist things. You’ll think you’re spot on but you’ll be completely wrong. Show yourself grace. God forgives us, so that means you can forgive yourself too.
In Conclusion: Because God is a God of action, we are called to be people of action. God desires unity. He desires unity so much that He sacrificed His Son Jesus for us to have a chance to be unified with Him for eternity. But we can take heart because Jesus has overcome the world. Jesus overcoming the world is not just significant because He defeated death, but because this means that his followers are victorious!
Jesus knows that we will succeed, We will unify the world. We will reconcile. We will win Because He has won. And through it all we will give God the glory forever and ever, amen.