I have been following the IF:Gathering Equip series of bible study for the past little while (ladies, check it out, its rather awesome.) and daily I am challenged on applying scriptures to life and specifically how to live out the calling that is on me in a Christ-like way.
I suppose that brings us to a bit about me. I am an activist, specifically working with the rights of women and children in conflict zones and disarmament. Last September I was priviledged to intern with the amazing women at the Nobel Women’s Initiative and work on the Stop Rape in Conflict campaign.
In my day job I am in ministry as an administrator at my church.
These two things often feel as though they are in conflict with one another. I mean when people say that they are “blessed” because God gave them a fancier car/house/pair of shoes, I really struggle. As an intern I was reading stories from literally across the globe about sexual violence, domestic violence, human trafficking etc. It just didn’t, and still often doesn’t, make sense to me how God cares about a North American persons sales at the mall but doesn’t intervene to protect the six month old baby from violation. Like, what!? But I will talk more about that in another post.
The other thing is that often I encounter ways in which my own country perpetuates injustice- both globally and at home. It makes me FURIOUS. Like I can actually feel my temperature rising. And because I am soo angry, I say things. Harsh things. Factual things.
But words that speak facts are accepting the darkness where you see it. In Jesus I am called to speak prophetically- to speak life into situations where there is none. To pray into the dark places, those factual places. To take action in ways that I am able and part of that action is prayer.
BUT. here is the key. In Acts 23 Paul insults the High Priest of the temple not realising who he is. in verse 5, when the man’s position is pointed out to him Paul apologizes and reminds himself that he is not to speak evil of any of our rulers.
Now I don’t take that to mean that you should never question authority. I think that is taking the verse too far. What it actually says is that you are not to speak evil; ie. Insult, curse, denigrate or humiliate.
I would sum it up like this: If you are working to be a Peacemaker, to follow Christ’s example of loving ones enemies and blessing those who curse and praying for those in power, your words matter. Speaking violence through insults, mocking, cursing or speaking with hatred only breeds more bad things. The fruit of violent speech is darkness, chaos and disunity.
Instead today I challenge you, Jesus Activist, and myself to speak words of life over your leaders. Pray into the dark places. Take action to change policies that you feel are harmful through proper channels but remember to partner your actions with prayer and let Him guide you.
Ultimately it is not God’s heart for any person to suffer injustice. Let his heart for the world shape how you respond to it.