We are all Thugs, Protesters, Police, and Pigs

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Today Scripture : Romans 14:19 (MSG)

So let’s agree to use all our energy in getting along with each other. Help others with encouraging words; don’t drag them down by finding fault.

Yesterday morning, I had the privilege of being a guest lecturer in an Intro to Sociology Class in a local community college. I was brought in as a “religion expert” to talk about the institution of religion and faith. As I looked over at the class, I felt the conversation needed to be more.

We talked about words. We talked about perceptions. We talked about what it meant to be part of something. We talked about Baltimore and Ferguson and what happens when we stop talking. We talked about the power of words as well. In the midst of that class, I was reminded of something.

We all are looking to connect with something. We all want to belong. We all want o be valued. We all want to matter. If we do not make an effort to really listen to the young adults in our midst we are missing something important. I know there are deep reasons why things like what is going on in Baltimore now happen. I get it. Yet, sometimes we make things more difficult than they need be.

We look at the news and we want to label people; thugs, protesters, police, or pigs. By labeling them we can begin to dehumanize them and start to assign blame. The scripture from Romans 14 points us to something bigger. It points us to being better. Let’s not bring each other down, let’s lift each other up. Let us make room for each other. No labels, just love.

In one of my favorite movies, “The Breakfast Club”, a group of misfit High School kids share in a Saturday detention. They come from different social groups but through their time together they grow. They are forced to hear each other and it changes them. The movie ends as they all leave. The  essay that they were forced to write becomes a group letter written by Brian. Today, I end with that letter.

brians-essay-from-the-breakfast-club

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