When people are treated differently because of the way they look, the human response is always the same: hurt. This hurt causes anger; and anger sometimes leads to violence. Sometimes when people are hurt and become angry, they say and do things they should not. Sometimes when people hear and see these wrong reactions to the hurt and anger they feel, they also say and do thing they should not.
These are the facts of human emotion, and no one is immune from reacting incorrectly. The answers to all of our current problems with racial injustice and the resulting anger, is to learn how to love.
We were created to be loved. It is the greatest desire of the human heart to be loved, and to love others. We were made for each other and it is by loving relationships with people that all of our lives are enriched and magnified.
Every Problem Begins In The Heart
In the presence of continuing racism and the resulting violence that is being seen in the United States, there are many who are calling for peaceful demonstrations, and lawful expressions of anger over injustice. At the same time, there are evil people in the world who look for opportunities to infiltrate peaceful protests and expressions of anger, by causing violence, looting, and destruction of property.
Often we hear about the need to alter our behavior and change the way we treat each other. The problem is that changing outward actions has very little effect upon the heart of the person. It is who we are on the inside that causes what we say and do on the outside. Jesus said that out of the storehouse of our heart, comes racism, hatred, violence, and harm. If we change the heart of a person, we change their behavior.
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. ~Luke 6:45
The Christian response to our current problem of racism and violence is to present the Good News that Jesus changes hearts, which changes lives. Of all the gods and religions of the world, only coming into a new relationship with Jesus has the power to really change a person and make them a new creation.
At the moment anyone hears what Jesus has done for them as He came into the world and died for us, they can have a new life. Jesus changes our hearts, which changes us. Jesus said that this process is called being “Born Again.” We don’t start over and try to be better people, we are transformed by the Spirit of God from within, and become different people.
The idea is that legislation and changes in laws can decrease the number of incidents of racism and violence, is not possible. Only when we begin to see ourselves and other people differently can we start to change the behavior of people.
How New Hearts Change Communities
Many years ago a church that I was a part of, went into an area and started an new gathering of believers in Jesus. They began to tell people in the surrounding area what I have been writing here in this article: we can have a new life the moment we surrender our lives to Christ and are born again.
The community where this was taking place, had a large drug problem. Many people were addicted to substances and it was ruining their lives and destroying the community they lived in.
As people began to hear about the love of Jesus and how He gave His life for the world, many committed their lives to Christ. They turned from their sins and received Jesus into their hearts and were changed from within. As a result, the rampant drug problems of that community began to diminish over time, and today, drugs are longer destroying the lives of people and that community.
How did it happen? Not by legislations and forcing people to change their behavior. Changes took place because people were different. Their lives were transformed by coming into a new relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Paul wrote to the Corinthian church that when anyone comes into a new relationship with Jesus, they become a new person: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. ~2 Corinthians 5:17
The problem with laws is that they don’t get to the real root of the problem: the hearts of people. Racism and violence begins with the heart. It is in the heart where all evil originates.
The way to change the behavior of people is to change their hearts. Find out what is bothering those who feel the need to hate and to express their feelings by violence. Fill the empty places of the heart and put a new heart of love inside. Help people to understand their hurt and to assist them in healing—allow a person to discover the love of God and start a new relationship with HIm, and everything changes. Our hearts are the source of all our problems. The reason we treat people incorrectly; the reason we act and speak as we do, is because of what is already living in our heart:
For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.” ~Mark 7:21-23
Change The Heart Of A Person, Change Their Life
Jesus said the only way that any person can truly be changed from within the heart is by the process that He came into the world to make possible: to be “born again,” a new creation that starts at the moment a person surrenders their life to Jesus and believes upon Him for their salvation.
Nicodemus came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”
Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water (natural birth) and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” ~John 3:2-8
Behavior modification, 12 step programs, religion, and psychotherapy or rehabilitation, can only modify external behavior. Unless the heart of a person is changed, these external attempts will only have limited success. The error of Psychiatry is that it seeks to heal the mind of a person, but it does nothing for the spirit of a person.
Jesus said that before the mind is healed, the spirit must be healed. We live as fallen beings with a spirit within us that is dead to God. What every person needs in their life is not to become a better person, but a new person. Jesus doesn’t correct our behavior; He completely makes us into new people by wiping away the past and giving us a new future of hope.
He places His Spirit inside us and comes to live with us. One of the preeminent differences between a relationship with Jesus and the religions of the world is that Jesus promised to live in us, helping us, causing our heart to change day by day. No religious leader or god ever claimed to take up residence in a person.
In order for this spirit within us to become alive, Jesus said that there must be a work of God’s Spirit where He comes to make us into a new creation.
Jesus said that this work of God’s Spirit is not something that can be seen from the outside. He described the work of becoming a new creation as one that takes place in the spirit of each person and this new spirit affects the mind and the heart. Jesus said that we cannot see this happen because it’s like the wind; we see the effects of the wind but we cannot see where it came from or where it is going.
Don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit. ~John 3:7-8
Bring a person into a knowledge of God’s love for them by His Son, Jesus Christ, and their life will change dramatically. Once a person understands how much they are loved and all of their sins have been forgiven, everything changes.
First, small differences are seen. As time passes, we begin to exhibit changes in the ways we talk and act in our lives. The way we see people of different color, nationality, disability, or education, changes. We no longer see differences, we begin to understand we are all the same, we are just people.
We read in the Bible that God created all of us from two people. We are related to each other, need each other; we are part of the same family. There is no superior race, no country or people that are better than others; no difference between men and women. Money or education does not make us better than anyone else. Poverty and lack of education does not diminish us as human beings. We are people greatly loved by God and called to live together in love for each other and in peace.
Over many years, people who find new lives in Jesus, are radically changed from the inside-out. How does this happen? By a simple, sincere, and straight forward prayer to God:
“Lord Jesus, please forgive all of my sins. I turn from my old life, to you now. I want to receive you, Jesus, as my Lord and Savior. I ask you to come into my heart and make me a new creation. Take away all the hurt, anger, desire for vengeance, and replace it with love, forgiveness, and peace. Come into my life Jesus, I surrender all of myself to you at this moment. I ask this in Jesus Name, who died for me.”
If you want a new life, you can have one today. Your future depends upon what you do with your thoughts, hurt, and the decision you make either to receive or reject Jesus.
Only Christ can change a heart that is hurt by racism, mistreatment, abuse, and violence. Only Jesus can take away all the hurt and replace it with love. I am one of these who has come into a new relationship with Jesus, 45 years ago. He changed my life forever and I was never the same after the day I prayed and asked Jesus to come into my heart.
I am still not perfect. I struggle with the old nature that still resides within me, alongside the new heart God created within me. Until the day this fallen body dies, I will always struggle with doing what is right, saying the correct words, dealing with difficult people. I have the forgiveness of God now in my heart so I can forgive the people who hurt me. I have the love of God living in my heart so I can love people who are not lovable.
The answer to racism, hatred, and violence, is Jesus. Until Jesus becomes the King over this world, it will not act the way that it should. The Bible says that during the present time in which we live, satan is the god of this world. It is he who controls the hearts of evil persons to cause them to commit violence and spread racism, and hatred over the earth. Only a new relationship with Jesus can break the power that satan has and cause this world to really change. I pray that you find a new life in Jesus and that our world will find that only the Love of God can truly change our broken world.
Categories: Be like Him, Christ In Us, Following Jesus, Forgiveness of Sin, Freedom of Speech, His Compassion, How Salvation Occurs, Jesus born to die, Prayer For America, Robert Clifton Robinson, Salvation through Jesus, The heart of the law: Mercy, To die for the world's sins, We must see our need, What is required for Heaven?
I love your article and every word is exactly what I believe from my lifelong study of the Bible – except your use of “a simple, sincere, and straight forward prayer to God” that does not exist in the Bible, nor is commanded to be prayed for salvation. In my study of salvation, living in Jesus, Jesus living in me, entering into the blood of Jesus for the forgiveness of sins, the pathway takes you to baptism.
Legislation cannot correct racism. Yet does not hesitate to foster it.
Legislation of the Lord’s desire is ours!