I’m not a politician. My goal and ambition is to be a die hard disciple of Jesus. Period. Every bit of chaos in the world right now is nothing new. It has a single root – sin.
The first murder in scripture is when Cain’s anger got the best of him and he killed his brother Able. It was a heart problem then, and it is a heart problem now.
But before we get all self-righteous pointing out the heart problems of those who hate, who have killed, who instigate violence and looting – maybe we should listen to the words of Jesus:
Matthew 5:21-22 (NET)
21 “You have heard that it was said to an older generation, ʻDo not murder,ʼ and ʻwhoever murders will be subjected to judgment.ʼ
22 But I say to you that anyone who is angry with a brother will be subjected to judgment. And whoever insults a brother will be brought before the council, and whoever says ʻFoolʼ will be sent to fiery hell.
Anger, insults, name calling… subject to the same judgment as murder. Why? Because the root of all sin is a heart problem. And our words reveal the heart. Our words matter.
Matthew 12:33-37 (NET)
33 “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is known by its fruit. 34 Offspring of vipers! How are you able to say anything good, since you are evil? For the mouth speaks from what fills the heart. 35 The good person brings good things out of his good treasury, and the evil person brings evil things out of his evil treasury. 36 I tell you that on the day of judgment, people will give an account for every worthless word they speak. 37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Just as a tree is known by it’s fruit, we are known by our words. If you are a Jesus follower, then you know that the only real answer is the Gospel, the Good News. That news defines every heart guilty of sin and in need of redemption. We are all guilty. Jesus sacrificed his life for every sinful heart, no matter what quantity of melanin is contained in our skin. A Jesus follower believes that repenting of a sinful heart and following Jesus is the only real hope for mankind.
How dare we, who call ourselves Christians, settle for anything less. The world is watching. They know what Jesus said, and they see our fruit when words betray us. They see us give passes to those we like who’s words betray them, and then vilify the slightest slip from those we disagree with.
Politics are not the answer. Cultural trends and catchphrases are not the answer. We are not going to show the world we are Jesus’ disciples if our conversations sound like Fox News arguing with CNN.
The Good News of Jesus is the only answer. Our world has a heart problem.
Politics won’t fix it.
Better race relations won’t fix it.
Sensitivity training won’t fix it.
Jail time or executions won’t fix it.
Military action won’t fix it.
Protests won’t fix it.
Riots, looting and vengeance won’t fix it.
Hashtags won’t fix it.
Some of those things can be used for good, but all only address the symptoms, not the problem.
But I have no right to tell the world to repent, unless my other words and actions bear the marks of a disciple. The Gospel isn’t empty words. It is God’s transforming power in action for everyone.
Romans 1:16 (NET)
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is Godʼs power for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
The world sees through our heart facade if our words and actions fall short of the Gospel. I don’t think most are ashamed of the Gospel, but just don’t really believe that it’s the solution. It’s time we Christians hold each other accountable for our words and actions.
Everyone without Jesus has a heart problem. Every Jesus follower should bear better fruit than anger, hate, insult and name calling.
We must focus on the Gospel. But in our house first. Then maybe the world will actually listen to our words, because the fruit of love will be the evidence our words are true. Our love for others should be on fire for the whole world to see.
1 Peter 4:8,17 (NET)
8 Above all keep your love for one another fervent, because love covers a multitude of sins…
17 For it is time for judgment to begin, starting with the house of God. And if it starts with us, what will be the fate of those who are disobedient to the gospel of God?
Let’s do some fruit inspection. Is our love showing? Our words matter. What can we, as Jesus followers do to clean our own house so the Good News will be heard?