Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
We were bold. We were courageous.
Last week, I had the honor of leading a Racial Unity dialogue at IF:Gathering. We had no idea how this conversation would be received by the crowd. We didn’t know if the attendees would be ready for such a relatively provocative discussion. We hoped that the conversation would be the first step to awareness and potentially heart transformation. Several ladies of diverse backgrounds took the stage and joined me in sharing their truth. Vivian Mubuni, Jessica Honnegar, Jamie Ivey, Monica Scantlen, Amena Brown and Helen Lee courageously shared their journies of racial experiences.
We need more believers willing to get messy, uncomfortable, and sometimes a little annoyed.
We need more believers willing to engage in difficult conversations about race and racial reconciliation.
We need more “bridge builders.”
Bridges of Truth– We must start the journey of reconciliation with Truth. We must admit the fallacies that have perpetuated within our society. We must acknowledge the injustices and stop making excuses for them. The most thriving communities are those that are relationally connected and racially integrated. We need to be in community with one another. That’s difficult to do when every aspect of our lives are segregated. Disunity leads us to building (or maintaining) assumptions, which produces lies. Lies give birth to prejudices. Prejudices opens the door to racism and it’s all sin. We must connect as the body of Christ to lead the way through this winding road of biblical oneness. We must lead out of the depths of our own lives. Reconciliation begins with every believer. We are reconciled to Jesus, our reconciler, so that we can in turn be reconciled to one another.
Bridges of Grace: When navigating the race dialogue we must give GRACE. Many fear engaging the race conversation because they may say something wrong. To prevent embarrassment or missteps, many dare not cross the bridge! Bridges of grace takes sensitivity and gracious people committed to true reconciliation. We all have received Grace when we did not deserve it. God is abundant in grace and calls us to the ministry of grace. Grace-based bridge building is humbling and rewarding. We must remember “why” we are doing the work of reconciliation. Unity isn’t achieved in our own efforts. True unity begins in our personal relationship with Christ, first. We are recipients and benefactors of Grace upon Grace, therefore we need to give Grace upon Grace.
Download a free copy of the racial unity guide.