What Are You Fighting For?
One of the reasons I came to YWAM Kansas City to do the 6-month Discipleship Training School, DTS, was because they had a Justice and Compassion “Focus” school. When I was considering doing a DTS, I discovered that some had a mercy ministry/ justice and compassion bend. I feel like this is part of how the Lord has knit me together. At YWAM KC, I learned a lot about different injustices in the world and God’s heart for the people involved. We barely scratched the surface.
In this podcast, Lindsey shares about justice and compassion, how the two are closely knit, and some of her life experiences in that area. I first met her when she had a different last name (before she got married) as one of my DTS staff. Lindsey is a passionate, zealous, wholehearted, and genuine lover of Jesus who wanted to see righteous justice brought forth in the earth. She learned with us. Our staff and students, together, grew in our love for the Lord and His heart for justice through His acts of compassion.
There is so much we can get out of this podcast, and I would encourage you to listen to it yourself! Maybe my takeaways will inspire you to check it out!
Loving Well is Hard
Lindsey shares how we need to let ourselves get into the pain, trials, emotions, sicknesses, and so on of others and choose to feel. We must choose to love people enough to be affected by their problems, to carry the weight with them. We weren’t called to do this thing called life alone. God created us to be in communion with Him and in community with others, but He never said it would be easy. Allowing ourselves to be moved with compassion like Jesus did can be gut-wrenching (Matthew 9:36). Jesus wept when He felt Mary’s pain (John 11). We’re called to be like Jesus.
Sit With Them
There’s so much going on in the world. The question becomes: how can we support and love people? Be there! Grieve with them. Lindsey suggests that we, “Function in the and” — that we not just do acts of justice, but ask the Lord how He sees people. What is His heart for them? How can we be with them? Love them. Sit with them. Get in the trenches of what’s hard for them and let yourself feel it without only trying to fix it.
Remove Your Filters
When we choose to get into the trenches with people, we must choose to not just see them through our preconceived notions of who they are, titles they have, or even past experiences of our own. Lindsey emphasizes that, “God wishes that none would perish.” We need to fight for the salvation of others no matter who they are… the one who trafficks people is just as worth us telling the gospel to them as a victim of human trafficking. We can’t let our own judgments shut us down. God is the only righteous and final Judge.
Bring It to the Lord
Sometimes it’s just too much. Sometimes we need to, “Disengage from what’s causing us to panic,” as Lindsey puts it. She gives us the example of how when she’s feeling overwhelmed, she opens the Word and asks the Lord for His thoughts. I know that personally, that is not always my go-to! We need to choose to open our Bibles and ask God to speak though! It matters. He is waiting for us to incline our ears to His words that are sweeter than honey (Psalms 119:103).
Don’t Lose Your Brother to Win an Argument
So we might find ourselves asking, “How do we win our brothers though?” We must choose to believe the best about people. Make our goal connection, not winning. Our aim needs to be winning our brother or sister over to the Kingdom, not winning an argument. One is fruitful, the other one can be divisive. Christ did not come so that we could be successful in our arguments while losing relationships. It’s not to say that we shouldn’t be speaking the truth! But if we sit with them, remove our filters, and bring it to the Lord in prayer, then there will be a much greater chance of loving them than there would be if we did not do those things.
Justice is the Lord’s
Ultimately, the most important thing to remember is that justice is the Lord’s! Roman’s 12:14-21 gives us a good picture of what justice should look like (emphasis added):
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
We are called to bless others, weep with them, live peaceably, do what is honorable, and not avenge ourselves. We leave the vengeance to the Lord. We do good — THAT is how the Lord tells us to overcome evil. Do good. Do you trust the Lord in this area?
There’s a lot of evil going on in the world, but thank the Lord He gave us wisdom on how to overcome it: with good. When we see the broken, we can weep with them. When someone does evil to us, we choose to do what is honorable in the sight of all. We do the things Lindsey mentioned in her podcast. I would encourage you to listen to it and let yourself be challenged. How are you repaying evil these days?