You can beat injustice: #chattanoogastrong

Our world’s run amok. Hatred dominates. Freddie Gray and Michael Brown die at the hands of the police and Baltimore and Ferguson erupt in riots. People loot and burn the property of their neighbors. They turn on their community and make it safe for no one. They create a wasteland that will only promulgate more crime.

What is gained? We learn about police brutality. Arrests are made. Investigations begun. Meanwhile, communities become devastated.
Then we have the Mother Emmanuel murders. Pure hate crime, motivated only because of the color of the victims’ skin.
And most recently–Chattanooga. Five young men who dedicated their lives for our freedom were gunned down by a crazed youth who believed he was doing Allah’s will.
In these last two murders, the reactions of those connected to the communities were diametrically opposite Baltimore and Ferguson. Those in Charleston begged for no riots. Flowers, balloons, candles and messages of peace were left at the scene. People of all faiths fell to their knees and prayed for their community. People of all color and all faiths packed Emmanuel AME Church for prayer services.
So, too, in Chattanooga. No riots arose from the despicable act done out of hatred. Vigils, prayers and a community bound by their love helped one another grieve and heal. The city didn’t rob from others. Instead, donations pour in for the victims’ families. The end result is a community stronger and more allied than before the heinous crimes.
Four horrible acts done in the last year–and two distinct ways of handling them.
For most of us, this kind of injustice is witnessed only on TV. Yet daily, we face inequity and maltreatment, and it cuts to our core.

I am divorced. My ex-husband cheated and eventually married his girlfriend. Our marriage, from the start was fraught with difficulty. I was told by one pastor, that even though the divorce happened prior to my salvation, I could never marry again. That was it. Cut off when even Jesus recognized infidelity as a permissible reason to dissolve a marriage. How should I have reacted? Refused Christianity? Turn from God? Or as Jesus did when others maligned him throughout history?

A dear friend suffers from serious health issues. She’s had consistent surgeries, and each one creates a new issue that must be addressed. How does the church treat her? Some assume she’s a hypochondriac. Some avoid her. How should she react?

How to face injustice:


This is not to excuse injustice. Jesus did not condone his crucifixion. Instead, he said “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23: 34 , NASB).

How does one forgive?

  1. Desire to forgive. If it’s too hard to even desire, for many people have faced situations that are brutal, ask God for the desire to desire to forgive.
  2. Do not dwell on the injustice. Every time you recall the wrong doing, pray simply, “Father, I forgive.” You may not mean it. You may repeat this 60 times an hour. However, I know from experience, it works.
  3. Eliminate the phrase, “I may forgive, but I’ll never forget.” That means you haven’t forgiven. Forgiveness has nothing to do with the perpetrator. It has everything to do with you. Once healed, the memory of the abuse/inequity/trials will fade, and your healing will arise.


“Yet those who [wait for the Lord/ Will gain new strength;/ They will [b]mount up with [wings like eagles,/ They will run and not get tired,/ They will walk and not become weary” (Is. 40: 31, NASB).

What works for you? What do you struggle with? Leave a comment. You need not struggle alone. I will talk, and I will pray.


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