Over the last week I’ve been seeing differing opinions on the current hot topic of Black Lives Matter. I’ve seen cartoons and analogies explaining why #alllivesmatter doesn’t work, but #blacklivesmatter will.
In a nutshell, Black Lives Matter helps us focus in on an area where the problem is, but All Lives Matter broadens it out too far to do any good anywhere. Believers in All Lives Matter are passive people who don’t put their actions where their mouth is. We just flippantly say it to be argumentative, (apparently).
Maybe that is true for some people, but seriously, the passive, argumentative people are on both sides.
Here is what All Lives Matter means to me.
When I am at work, and a co-worker or a guest (I don’t work at a hotel, but that is what we are instructed to call our customers) are being very difficult to get along with, I treat them like their life MATTERS.
When I disagree with my husband, I treat him like his life MATTERS.
When I am driving and someone almost (or does) causes an accident in front of me, I treat that person like his/her life MATTERS.
When my toddler throws tantrums and is disobedient, I treat him like his life MATTERS.
When I am cheated, harassed, unfairly treated, lied to or about, and on and on, I treat everyone around me like their lives MATTER.
I saw a photo of a t-shirt on my newsfeed that said “All lives matter *except…” I won’t list them all, but it was basically a bunch of different criminals, people who do REALLY bad stuff. I disagree, and maybe if we treated everyone like their life mattered it would make a difference.
No one is worse than me. Although I may have never killed anyone, all sin is punishable by death except by grace freely poured out on the cross. That is the only difference between me and a lot of people out there.
Nothing I do affects whether my LIFE matters or not. The color of my skin does not determine if my LIFE matters. My heritage, my race, my social status, and my income do not make my LIFE matter.
I matter because…
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27 ESV)
That is it!
That right there is why All Lives Matter.
Moving on to my call to action in loving everyone in your sphere of influence, here is another gem:
Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. (Romans 13:8-10 ESV emphasis mine)
If anyone says “all lives matter” but it doesn’t show in how they respond to the people around them, they may not actually believe it.
What if we acted like we believe that All Lives Matter? Who’s life would be different because of it?
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead. (James 2:14-26 ESV)