A Time to Stand Up for Those Who Cannot Stand

My heart is heavy today upon hearing the news about a mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Sadly lives were lost and many were impacted by this inexcusable means of someone’s desire to cause harm to others.  There are no explanations for this, but yet others feel compelled to comment and not always in the most tactful or caring way.  Shame on those, who take advantage of a horrendous incident such as this, and use it as a talking point about their political agenda, or create a forum to express their hatred of others; thus in their mind justifying why this happened.  This is not the time to incite anger, but rather to show kindness, sympathy and compassion to all who are suffering through this trial.


What really “rattles my cage” is that we fail when we look at ourselves and how we are affected, rather than showing the “milk” of humanity by responding to the needs of those in harm’s way.  A certain CBS executive made an ill-timed deeply insensitive comment in which she mentioned that “country music fans often are Republican gun-toters” demonstrating her deficit in the use of tact, as well as, highlighting her obviously fueled anger when she spewed forth her hatred.  One might object and say that she was making a point in which gun control needs to be once again looked at, but this is not the forum for such a statement.  Her derogatory comment is fueled by hate and lack of common decency that is my point.  This is what I want to address today.


We must use our common sense when we speak.  There is a time to speak and a time to listen.  There is a time to hold our tongue until we are capable of getting a message across without having to fuel it with our anger or disgust.  In James 1:19 we are given some very sage advice to follow: “This you know, my beloved brethren, everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.”  However, some fail to see the wisdom expressed in this advice and proceed like a fool to speak rashly.  Proverbs 15:1 backs this up when it is stated:  A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”  Colossians 4:6 tells us how one should speak during life’s troubling moments:   “Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.” 


Knowing when to speak is important, but how you speak is just as important of a skill.  Everywhere we look nowadays we see division.  Everyone has someone or knows someone who is openly in disagreement with someone else.  Hostile words are uttered, opinions proudly stated, and nothing is getting resolved. Few are trying to reconcile with one another, but most are sticking to their guns and standing firm on their views.  No one seems to be listening and few are actually encouraging others to iron out their differences.  As a nation we are becoming more disgruntled, more vocal, apathetic, and forgetting what the word compassion means.  It is no longer in our dictionary of words to rely on.  Do we need a refresher on what the word actually means?  It is defined as being sympathetic and concerned for the suffering or misfortunes of others.  Why are we refusing to be compassionate especially when it is the most vital component during trials like this?


Jesus had a lot to say about our need to be compassionate; after all He showed compassion to us and promised us He would be with us during our trials.  In 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 we see this in action:  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”  This is a command for us to follow and live by.  God is a loving God and His love is unfailing.


It isn’t too hard to be there for someone else.  Open your hearts and minds to this concept as Peter tells us in 1 Peter 3:8 when he directs us: “Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.”    We have been given this gift to offer others in their time of trouble; use it and possibly give peace of mind to someone in need of comfort.


Take a moment and think about this verse in Colossians 3:12 and then act on it:  “clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”  Our tongues can become our worst weapon and we need to discern when to use it for good and not for harm.  People are mourning at this very moment, people are in need of comfort and care, trying to place trust in themselves or someone else again.  Hear their plea for help and respond.  Take a moment and pray for peace, pray for comfort and strength to heal them and for forgiveness to come one day. This is a time to step out on faith, and reach out to others.  Please do not turn a blind eye.  Your compassion can bring a moment of peace to someone else.  Do not use it sparingly or begrudgingly, but rather lavishly bestow it towards others.


Yes, we are living in very volatile times of which none of us know what is just around the corner.  Do not spread hate or ignorance, but vow to spread love to one another, hold someone’s hand when they are scared, hug someone to comfort them, pray for and with them, let them know someone cares.  God gave us the milk of kindness for a reason and now it is needed more than ever.  Godspeed to all who have been directly or indirectly affected by this act of violence.  You are all in my prayers.

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