Dear Black Eyed Peas, You Get Me

“People killin’, people dyin’
Children hurt and you hear them cryin’
Can you practice what you preach?
Or would you turn the other cheek?

Father, Father, Father help us
Send some guidance from above
‘Cause people got me, got me questionin’
Where is the love?”
– Black Eyed Peas

Never in my 35+ years of existence did I ever imagine, “I’m totally going to begin a thought or writing with a quote form the Black Eyed Peas!” And yet… here we are. Yes, this is real life. But the question remains, “Where is the love?”

As you open up your social networking, turn on the news, or pick up the latest issue of your local paper- you’ll see the same things:

Racial Injustice.
And the list goes on.

But amidst the headlines that the media decides for us to see, one thing in public discourse seems to be consistent: fighting.

“I side with law enforcement.” “I believe they abuse power.”
“My flag is heritage.” “Your flag stands for hate.”
“I believe in biblical marriage.” “I believe everyone should marry.”
“I’m for racial equality.” “I’m happy with how things were before.”
“ISIS is not a threat to me.” “ISIS is horrible and must be stopped.”

It’s exhausting. 
As a Christian, I believe certain things because of my faith. Sometimes my beliefs aren’t popular or are in the minority, but I’m content in communicating why I believe in God, the Bible & hold my faith and don’t force my beliefs on others. But usually there is an immediate stereotype that gets placed over me when I even bring up that I follow Jesus. I must be a “hypocritical, Bible-thumping, right wing, homophobic, hate-filled individual.” Once I verbalize that I am on team “love God” this image gets assumed more often than not. Unfortunately, my tribe across the world hasn’t always helped how Christians are viewed. Many believers are quick to uproar because we are no longer the home team here in the states. For centuries, Judeo-Christian beliefs were the majority. What happens when you aren’t the popular kid on the playground anymore? Can you hold your beliefs without being hurtful or angry?

Hence what we see today and for the past few months in the shadow of high profile shootings, racially fueled headlines, court cases, stories of people like Caitlyn Jenner, and more… all ending at some point in exchanges of fighting and only listening to make a rebuttal, not to hear one another.

What if believers took the passion we feel for whatever the headline of the day is and placed our efforts into helping orphans? Aiding and equipping the homeless? Standing up to end poverty around the globe? Gave a meal to those in need? Helped people out of modern day slavery?

What if those who said they loved Jesus,
actually lived like & followed Jesus?

Maybe we’d be so consumed with helping others that we wouldn’t have time to fight about things that God has already taken care of. That’s why if you claim faith, knowing what the Bible says is so crucial and helps you to wade through daily life. I get why the Black Eyed Peas asked that question. I ask the question a lot. I ponder it daily. I want to ask God about it face-to-face one day. It reminds me of a quote that I keep written down in my bible by Brandon Hatmaker from his book Barefoot Church. Brandon writes:

“Sometimes I would like to ask God why He allows poverty, suffering, and injustice when He could do something about it. But, I’m afraid He would ask me the same question.”

Stop fighting.
Start loving and living it out.
You can hold onto your faith AND be kind.
People who the religious of Jesus’ day hated- they flocked to Jesus.
Ask yourself, “Are people flocking to me?”

My hope is that these words of Jesus can be said of every one of us as we interact daily with humanity…

I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.’