Excerpts from Ephesians 4 - read it in light of the riots, the looting, the murder we have witnessed:
“...I...appeal to you to live a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called [that is, to live a life that exhibits godly character, moral courage, personal integrity, and mature behavior—a life that expresses gratitude to God for your salvation], with all humility [forsaking self-righteousness], and gentleness [maintaining self-control], with patience, bearing with one another in [unselfish] love. Make every effort to keep the oneness of the Spirit in the bond of peace [each individual working together to make the whole successful]...
But speaking the truth in love [in all things—both our speech and our lives expressing His truth], let us grow up in all things into Him [following His example] who is the Head—Christ...
...be continually renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh, untarnished mental and spiritual attitude], and put on the new self [the regenerated and renewed nature], created in God’s image, [godlike] in the righteousness and holiness of the truth [living in a way that expresses to God your gratitude for your salvation]...
...rejecting all falsehood [whether lying, defrauding, telling half-truths, spreading rumors, any such as these], SPEAK TRUTH EACH ONE WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are all parts of one another [and we are all parts of the body of Christ]. BE ANGRY [at sin—at immorality, at injustice, at ungodly behavior], YET DO NOT SIN; do not let your anger [cause you shame, nor allow it to] last until the sun goes down. And do not give the devil an opportunity [to lead you into sin by holding a grudge, or nurturing anger, or harboring resentment, or cultivating bitterness]...
Do not let unwholesome [foul, profane, worthless, vulgar] words ever come out of your mouth, but only such speech as is good for building up others, according to the need and the occasion, so that it will be a blessing to those who hear [you speak].
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor [perpetual animosity, resentment, strife, fault-finding] and slander be put away from you, along with every kind of malice [all spitefulness, verbal abuse, malevolence]. Be kind and helpful to one another, tender-hearted [compassionate, understanding], forgiving one another [readily and freely], just as God in Christ also forgave you.”
Here is response, our call to action, our stance: Unity, love, renewal, forgiveness, kindness, tenderheartedness.
Yes, there has been death. Yes, there has been destruction. Yes, there has been pillaging, stealing, looting, riots, burning, burning, burning. What is at the root? What is the heart condition? Anger. Malice. Envy. Hatred. Fear? If we respond in kind, we receive in kind. The only way to stop this, to stem this tide, is to respond with the opposite spirit.
What spirit is driving you today? Does it repel or attract? Are you feeding the frenzy or quieting it? Today I choose... I choose to fight the demons. I choose to fight the frustration, anger and fear. I choose to guard my mouth and monitor my responses. I choose to return a glare with a smile, a harsh word with a kind one.
Choose this day whom you will serve...(Joshua 24:15).