Healthy Growth

How an organism responds to its environment determines, in large part, how it will grow. Human organisms are no different. C S Lewis affirmed in various places that we are shaped by the choices we make. So it becomes vitally important how we respond to incidents like the one that recently occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia.

When we are confronted by people who espouse racism or any type of racial superiority, how can we or should we respond? Violence begets violence. Hatred breeds hatred. I think I understand the angry responses of some who opposed the marchers supporting a philosophy of white-supremacy. It was easy for me to get swept up in that anger as well. In most of these cases however, anger simply increases anger. We may feel righteous after it is all over, but have we grown in a healthy way in those moments? Have those responses caused us to be more loving, kind, and generous? I suspect not.

I don’t always make Christian choices, but as a Christian, I live under sweet constraints that have been placed on me. Restraints that call on me to love my enemies, speak the truth in love, and pray for those who would persecute me.

There are other options than screaming words of hatred. Choirs could coalesce along the marchers’ parade route and sing “they will know we are Christians by our love” or “Jesus loves the little children”. Groups of men and women could join together and in unison pray aloud over the marchers, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” I am certain that there are better loving responses that can be given than the two I have just mentioned! But my point in all of this is to affirm that we can respond to bigotry and racism in ways that will promote love, compassion, peace, and understanding. In so doing, we grow in the image of Christ.

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “Healthy Growth

  1. LaMon,

    What a brave post this is! And wise, too. Thank you.

    Fisher

    ______________________

    *F i s h e r H u m p h r e y s *

    *Birmingham, Alabama205.821.3251*

    On Fri, Aug 18, 2017 at 8:57 AM, Pathways to God wrote:

    > spirituality159 posted: “How an organism responds to its environment > determines, in large part, how it will grow. Human organisms are no > different. C S Lewis affirmed in various places that we are shaped by the > choices we make. So it becomes vitally important how we respond to in” >

    Like

  2. LaMon, I appreciate your words.
    The dreadful display of hate and bigotry in Charlottesville has caused me to examine my feelings of anger which I harbor. Anger has been a default setting for me due to my upbringing. So I am comfortable with anger. I would like to think that because of God’s transforming power I have come to see things differently and that free floating anger has been channeled into working for justice and into living out the beatitudes.
    We are grateful for you and Pat and for your choosing to make your home in Birmingham.
    Caroline

    Like

    1. Thanks Caroline. You and Fisher are two of the reasons we chose to retire here! And I too have occasions of anger that is unproductive. Hopefully, I am better in that regard than 40 years ago, but who knows?

      Like

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