Love your Neighbor

Today, we are in the middle of a problem with police brutality in America that has got the attention of a lot of people around the world. After the death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, an outbreak of protests happened across the country. And different news outlets and different voices were speaking up about this issue. In this, I am here to give you the facts about what is happening in this country and what Christians can do in response to these protests and to America as a whole.

The facts

This year, we have lost many black people to police brutality or by white people that gained national attention in America so far this year are Ahmaud Abery (February), Breanna Taylor (March), and George Floyd (May). Ahmaud Abery died when confronted by two white residents while jogging in Georgia. Breonna Taylor was shot by police when a “no knock search warrant” was placed on her house in Kentucky. George Floyd was killed after being held down by officers, one had a knee on his neck, asphyxiating him to death in Minnesota. Specifically with George Floyd’s death, it sparked outrage, protests, and some riots across the country. His death was caused by “asphyxiation from sustained pressure.” His last words were “I can’t breathe.” Due to knowing this information, people started protesting holding up signs saying “I can’t breathe,” “Justice for Floyd,” “Black Lives Matter.”

What Christians can do

            There is a couple things Christians can do to respond to these issues.

            The Bible talks about love a lot. In multiple verses, you see “Love your neighbor” or “Love one another” (Matthew 22, Mark 12:31, Galatians 5:14, John 13:34, 15:12, Romans 13:8) to name a few. I am going to discuss the importance and meaning behind Jesus’ commandment in Mark 12:31, “Love your neighbor as yourself”

In Scripture, Jesus was challenged by the Pharisees. They asked Him in Mark 12:28 “What is the most important commandment?” In 12:30-31, Jesus gave a two-part answer: Love God and love your neighbor. To love your neighbor means to love people. People that are different from you, regardless of race, sexual orientation, and ethnicity. That is what Christians should do and show when responding to events like this.

When seeing injustice done to minorities in this country or anywhere, really, the first thing to feel typically is anger and fury. That is an appropriate response and it should anger you, but it should not anger you so much to the point that you stop following Christ’s commandments to LOVE, which should be the foundation in which a Christian builds their faith around because Peter says “Love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8). Peter says to not just to love others, but love them DEEPLY.

How can Christians love?

            There is a couple things white Christians can do to show love to minorities in America. First EDUCATE yourself on these issues and how these issues are affecting minorities. Educating yourself could be the hardest step to do because it requires a lot of research and staying up to date on current issues in America, which could show some disturbing information. Second, after you have researched, respond to the research with both outward and inward ACTION. Outward action could be participating in your town’s protest.  If you are going to protest, protest peacefully and remember the reason you are protesting: to show love to your neighbor (to minorities). Or using social media to speak out about these issues. Or action could mean inward action. Change some things within yourself and how you can better yourself on treating minorities with love and respect.

            I encourage Christians to not stay silent about these issues and respond to our brothers and sisters in love. Educate yourself and demonstrate inward and outward action. That is how Christians can live out Mark 12:31 in today’s society toward minorities in America.

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