When is the last time you cried out to God for racial reconciliation and true justice. I have been praying for racial peace and justice for many years. If these issues truly grieve our hearts, we need need to be in continuous prayer.
Besides prayer, there are several steps we can take to help bring about racial reconciliation and justice. Here are a few steps, I believe can help us as we navigate these most important topics.
Respectful Conversations. It is so important that we approach these conversations with respect. Respect for the the centuries of pain faced by our brothers and sisters of color. Respect for the differences we bring to the conversation. We must respect the people we are engaging with. I believe coming from a place of respect can help make these conversations meaningful and bring about change.
Examine Your Motives. Why are you engaging in conversations about race? Is it to feel better about yourself? Is it the popular thing to do? If those are your motivations, you might need to examine your heart. Conversations about race have to be more than a feel good moment. Our motivation needs to be to address the real issues confronting America. That is what will truly lead to meaningful change.
Embrace Learning. Do not beat yourself up because you do not have all the answers. Keep asking questions. Most important, admit when you don’t have all the answers. The only way we can see real change is by asking questions. Join groups that are dedicated to racial reconciliation and justice. Read books on the issue. Most importantly, reach out to people that look different than you and get their perspective.
Listen. We have to listen to each other. Do not dominate the conversation with your own thoughts and beliefs. That will not lead to productive change. Take time to listen to everyone at the table. Dominating the conversation will only stop the flow of ideas and drive people away from the table.
Commitment to Change. Change is hard. Do not expect people to change overnight. To help change come about, everyone needs to commit to seeing real change take place. That is going to take patience and time. The racial issues we are facing did not happen overnight and will not be solved overnight. Make the commitment to stay involved for the long haul.
These are just a few suggestions. There are so many more steps I could have shared. Maybe I will have a Part 2 at some time. This journey to racial reconciliation and justice starts with you and me. My prayer is that we will all commit to having real conversations about the racial issues and injustices facing America. I am dedicated to having these conversations. Will you join me? ~OC
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