As people rally around Trayvon’s family, I am moved by all the support.
Support I love. Support in grief is invaluable.
But part of me is deeply, deeply concerned.
As I hear so many things espoused in this intense situation, I can’t help but think of Philippians 4:8 – to think about things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy.
Now whether or not Zimmerman did that is one issue.
But that’s not the issue we answer for.
We answer for our thoughts. We answer for whether or not we are thinking things that are true – actually, factually true. Noble. And pure.
All of our thoughts. Including our thoughts about George.
Now I know this may sound extreme. But negatively defining a person by telling them what they are, what they think, and what their motives are is a pretty intense thing. It’s actually called verbal abuse.
Now what Zimmerman did or did not do, again, is his. But what we do is ours before the Lord.
So should we be negatively defining his motives as racism?
Now I’m not trying to defend the guy. I’m not saying he’s for sure not a racist. As far as I am aware, the actual, factual truths include this: George is a Hispanic man who has black family members, black friends, and tutors students of all races, including blacks. He may indeed, in the midst of all of that, have some sort of racist something in him. Anything is possible. But given his life – given the actual, factual truths (and not my emotions) – it seems like there could at least be a sliver of a possibility that he is not racist.
If I stand before the Lord and call this man a racist, and the Lord instead finds a man who reached out to people of other races, what does that make me? Yikes. I’m more than wrong. At best I am an abuser. A sinning abuser. And at worst? Well, there is a bounty on his head.
We may never be sure exactly what happened and exactly what the motives were. But what is for sure is our Lord. And what is for sure is His command to us. He tells us to think things that are true – actually, factually true. And he tells us to think things that are noble – what is a possible noble explanation?
Not thinking so is sin.
What is ours to answer is not whether Zimmerman had pure thoughts. What is ours to answer before the Lord is whether we have pure, noble thoughts.
Will our reasoning be correct?
Never violate the principles of God in order to gain or maintain the blessing of God. ~ Charles Stanley
We mustn’t circumvent God’s principles in order to arrive at our conclusion. Is racism wrong? Absolutely. I believe racism so saddens the One who created every person on this planet – including both Trayvon and George. Is George Zimmerman a racist? Our job is to follow God’s principles as we consider this man He created. Our job is to view others through the cross – not crosshairs! We must be careful not to violate the principles of God to get to a blessed conclusion.
I am so saddened about Trayvon’s death and for his family.
But I also have great concern that in our emotion, we still honor our Lord and His desires for every step of our hearts and minds.