There is a lot of anger in our country today. Anger at white people, anger at black people, anger at police, anger at almost everyone, for almost every reason. Oh, and don’t forget to include Muslims, Christians and Jews in there too. There is plenty of anger to go around, and the tolerance for people that don’t agree with us has dropped to almost zero. And to make matters worse, there is no sign that all this anger is going to let up any time soon.

BUT, I am here to tell you that there is a solution to all this anger and frustration, if we will just stand up and be part of the solution and not part of the problem.

This community we are all part of is based on respect, we know what it means, and it is something that is sadly lacking in our society today. But, if we will extend love and grace to those around us, and I mean to those outside our community, we will surely be a bright light in what is becoming a very dark world.

So, I have talked about respect, and I talked about love and grace. What do those have to do with each other?

The Bible tells us;

1 Peter 2:17 “Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the leaders.”

Titus 2:7 “In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness”

Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,”

You see, just as we have learned that you have to give respect to get respect, so also outside of this community, we need to be examples of what we want our world to be. Not that we need to be weak, but we need to be gentle with those that are still learning what respect is.

And finally, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying this is going to be easy. But Jesus tells us that he will sustain us;

John 14:27 “Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.

And, if that isn’t strong enough encouragement for you, how about this verse, spoken by King David, the man God said was a man after His own heart;

Psalm 23:4 “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

So, I say Stand Up for what is right, for what is good, and for what is just. These are dark times, and the world needs people like us. That is my desire, how about you?