I have come to the conclusion that racism is not in fact THE issue. We like to label things as THE issue because it gets more attention, supposedly. We create hashtags and movements trying to fight for a new cause.
The only issue with that is when the hashtags are no longer trending and people’s fickle minds find a new “cause” the real issue is left in the dust.
I bet you can think of at least 5 hashtag causes that have come and gone within the last couple of years. It makes people feel good to use the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag at the end of their Facebook status because it makes them feel a part of something bigger than themselves.
The real question is not if the hashtag is right, because I truly believe that black lives matter, but instead does the hashtag really matter. The answer is simple: no. The people matter, not the hashtag; and that is where the real problem is. The issue is not racism, it is people: the lack of respect for the sanctity of life. This disease springs up racism, abortion, murder, and prejudice. Racism is simply the symptom of a much deeper, more ugly disease that is ravishing our culture.
Instead of fighting the symptoms, let us fight the real source of the ugly symptoms.
That’s what Jesus did. He was strange. He wasn’t trendy. He was extraordinarily unconventional in His methods.
Take the story of the paraplegic in Mark 2:1-12 for example:
“And many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And he was preaching the word to them. 3 And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. 4 And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. 5 And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
So many times we come to Jesus and say FIX ME, but Jesus responds with a seemingly off-the-wall response. Jesus knows something that we don’t. He knew that weeks, maybe months later, after He had healed the paraplegic, the euphoria would wear off and the same brokenness that was haunting Him would be back.
The man came to Jesus with what he thought His greatest issue was, but Jesus looked at the man and said, “No, I see something more. I want to get to the root of the issue. I want to dig deep and rip out the real culprit.” Everything else is just systemic of the deepest issue. Jesus wants to work from the inside out, manifesting His complete healing power. He cares about you so much not to give you what you want, but what He knows you need.
If we deal with only racism, then all of the other symptoms will grow. And in two months, when the euphoria wears off, we will be a society that is just as broken because the issue has not been dealt with at the core.
Jesus sees the racism. He sees the abortion. He sees the murder. He sees the prejudice. He sees it all. He sees the symptoms of hatred in our world. The difference is that Jesus is in the business of a flourishing and complete version of you, not just a bandaged limping version of yourself sewn together with random pieces.
For example: cancer. If you went to the doctor and he told you that you have cancer, but instead of treating the cancer you treat the symptoms, i.e. blood in the stool, nagging cough or anemia, you would be deemed insane. Why would you not go for the deepest issue that’s at the very core of it all? The issue that, if cured, will cause all of the symptoms to cease? It is the same concept.
Our world desperately needs Jesus, not another movement or hashtag.
It can be hard though because it requires taking our eyes off of the pain we are individually feeling because of the symptoms of hatred. Yet, it is necessary.
We will never defeat racism, abortion, murder, or prejudice until we cut deep to the root of the issue. We need Jesus like never before.
So my challenge to you is simple. Don’t use another hashtag or join another movement. Spread the love and life of Jesus with every person you meet with a radical ferocity.
I guarantee our world will change. I know mine did.