Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.
James 1:19 (NLT)
With the grand jury decision announced earlier this week in Ferguson, MO, there should not have been a surprise at the reactions. It was sad. It was sad to see businesses burned to the ground, which leaves people out of work, people yelling profanity to other human beings, rioters becoming violent, and all the chaos.
If everyone is honest, there is more we don’t know than what we do know about August 9 (the day Michael Brown lost his life and Darren Wilson’s changed forever). No matter our prejudices or preconceived ideas of the events, we need to stay focused on the bigger issue and how we move forward from this decision.
The bigger issue is the sanctity of life. Just like the death with dignity movement, the issue is God values life. We should too. Even though it was a decision reached within our innocent-until-proven-guilty system, a family no longer has a son and an officer will live with taking that son’s life.
Honestly, I was quick to judge some of the things that I saw on CNN after the decision was announced. It was a mistake because it was out of anger and frustration. I failed to be quick to listen—gather all the facts and hear all the evidence—instead I was too quick to speak and rush to judgment. Instead of being quick to pray for the family who lost their son and the officer living with taking someone’s life, I was quick to wash my hands from the situation and think it’s not my problem because I live in northern Virginia. I was dead wrong.
The right way to move forward from this decision is to live out James’ God-centered advice. Along with praying for the families involved on both sides and for God to reveal what really happened in His time, it’s important for us to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.
Following this advice can improve our quality of life.
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