Naughts & Crosses

June 14, 2020

 

 

 

 

“Stay away from all the foolish arguments of the immature, for these disputes will only generate more conflict. For a true servant of our Lord Jesus will not be argumentative but gentle toward all and skilled in helping others see the truth, having great patience toward the immature. Then with meekness you’ll be able to carefully enlighten those who argue with you so they can see God’s gracious gift of repentance and be brought to the truth. This will cause them to rediscover themselves and escape from the snare of Satan who caught them in his trap so that they would carry out his purposes.” -2 Timothy‬ ‭2:23-26‬ ‭TPT

 

 

Have you ever been freezing cold? (Go with me). Like so cold it hurts? I have. If you’ve been reading my blogs for a while you’ll know that my husband Jonathan is an outdoors guy. He loves it, and me on the other hand, I like the idea of the outside, but I’m working on it. At the beginning of our relationship when I would follow him on these excursions I had no idea what I was doing. I am not an expert but what I have learned is if you are going to go on an outdoor adventure with someone who has a degree in mountain leadership, DO NOT WEAR JEANS. Guys I’m just looking out for you, you will regret it. On this occasion I had packed a lunchbox, brought a jumper and gloves and the trainers I liked the least. I had trainer socks on and RIPPED JEANS. I thought I was ready. The problem with wearing jeans is that if it rains, your jeans will stay wet for the entirety of your trip. The whole time. You will not get dry. Just trust me, you will not dry. And with wet Jeans comes the cold. It was the middle of February and I felt cold like I have never felt before. To the core of my soul I was cold. My jaw was too frozen to chatter. If I closed my eyes I could forget I had hands or feet. I honestly think the blood in my legs turned to slush puppy. It was the coldest I had ever been in my life. I was so numb, I was in PAIN. If you’ve ever been that cold you’ll know what I’m talking about. The numbness hurt. I felt absolutely nothing and it took me HOURS to warm up when we got back.

 

I don’t know if you guys will know what I’m talking about. But have you ever been in so much pain, it makes you numb? And have you ever been so numb, or so cold, that is caused you pain? If you’re not following at this point I’m not just talking about being stupid enough to wear jeans on an all day adventure. I’m talking about life. Have you ever been in a situation that caused you so much pain, your body and mind would shut down to it? Have you ever been so numb to a situation that it physically hurts you? I have, and I think I’m in one now. I feel colder and number than I’ve ever felt. But in my life time, I don’t think I’ve ever been in this much pain when it comes to the topic of social injustice and racism.

 

Before I continue I want to make it perfectly clear that at Agape Generation, we stand firmly against racism. We believe whole heatedly that BLACK LIVES MATTER. No ifs, no buts. They matter to GOD and they should matter to you. We can continue now.

 

I, along with many others, will be sick to the stomach with the current climate. It doesn’t make sense to a lot of you reading how one individuals life matters less than another’s to some people. All my life I have watched people downplay, and deny racism. Tell me I’m exaggerating or overplaying it. Telling me it’s a ‘tired excuse’ and it’s time to get over it. And each time an outcry comes along, I deal with it the best I can, and with Gods help I am able to find some peace. However this time, on this occasion, peace has not been as easy to come by. I am being enraged by ignorance over and over again. However what has Got me the most is people I have shared dinners with, shared time with and supported people, people I see on a daily and weekly basis, share the views that have hurt me so much. Social media is a great revealer of things and this season has revealed oh so much. I have tried to ignore, I have tried to rise above, I have even tried to pray for these people, but to be honest I haven’t been as successful as I would have liked. Friends I am cold, I am in a lot of pain, and I am numb. And for a while I was unsure I would even be able to look these people in the face again. They are at my place of work, they are at my church, they are everywhere. And I was done.

 

Until today. Our scripture for today is the longest we’ve ever had, but it will change your life. “Stay away from all the foolish arguments of the immature, for these disputes will only generate more conflict. For a true servant of our Lord Jesus will not be argumentative but gentle toward all and skilled in helping others see the truth, having great patience toward the immature. Then with meekness you’ll be able to carefully enlighten those who argue with you so they can see God’s gracious gift of repentance and be brought to the truth. This will cause them to rediscover themselves and escape from the snare of Satan who caught them in his trap so that they would carry out his purposes.” 2 Timothy‬ ‭2:23-26‬ ‭TPT‬‬. WOW, just WOW. This scripture spoke to my soul. Please don't read this wrong, am I saying that anyone who opposes black lives matter is possessed by the devil? Absolutely not, there are some bible believing Christians who oppose it. However, if you are at the end of your rope, done with explaining, done with fighting, done with trying to make people realise. If you have run out of patience and resolve, if you are genuinely struggling with the idea of looking at these people or being in the same room with them ever again. If you feel nothing, or naught? Remember, there is a cross. For every naught you feel for someone, the cross of Jesus Christ is right there. And he feels everything.

 

What he feels for me, he feels for them. How the lords heart breaks for my suffering? His heart breaks for their ignorance. There is a cross for me, and there is a cross for them. If I believe that Jesus Christ, came down from heaven in the form of a baby, breached universes to get to earth, transcended time and space to get on a cross and die to save my soul. Then I have to believe he did that for them too. It goes both ways. And I know there will be Christians reading this that are sick to death of constantly forgiving, and constantly rising above, and constantly offering their other cheek, I am one of you. And when I’m tempted to get into that place, I ask God to bring to my remembrance that he never got tired of me. That he never left me, he never gave up on me, he has never and will never give up on his mission to save my soul and restore me to the righteousness he created me for.

 

Friends I want you to hear me carefully. I am in no way saying let this go, I am not saying perpetuate and fan the flames of ignorance by being silent. That is the opposite of what I’m saying. Continue to speak out against and openly condemn racism on every platform you have access to. But do not allow it to draw you into bitterness and unforgiveness. Not for them, but for yourself. When you have the strength, educate and correct with love. When you don’t, remember the cross and leave them to God. We are in a fight for justice, but we are also in a fight for our peace.

 

If you’ve been struggling these last couple of weeks, I am so sorry. And I pray that the God of perfect peace comforts you where you are, and gives you the wisdom to know when to speak, and when not to. When you feel naught, remember, there is a cross.

 

 

We love you, Agape x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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© 2019 by Deborah Newbould for Agape Generation UK.