Early Tuesday morning Jussie Smollett, star of the hit tv show Empire was assaulted by two men in what police are calling a “possible racially-charged assault and battery” and are investigating it as “a possible hate crime.”
At the writing of this article, details of the incident are still coming to light. But that must not stop us from understanding, seeing and taking a prayerful stand against our greatest foe—since the beginning of time, hate himself.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so they can have life. I want them to have it in the fullest possible way.” —John 10:10
The thief, hate himself, “comes only to steal”—our peace, health, sanity, stamina, joy, effectiveness, influence, provision… He comes only to kill—our unity, mental faculties, ability to love, ability to forgive, ability to trust, ability to believe, our sense of safety, even our very lives. He comes only to destroy.
Hate’s only aim? The destruction of all that is good. All that is beautiful. All that is perfect.
So ask yourself, are the full details of Smollett’s assault really needed to see the toxicity of hate at work here? Do we really need every detail of this horrific incident to know that it stems from pure evil? Any act of this nature, no matter specific motives, is derived, empowered by and executed in hate—plain and simple.
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My heart bleeds due to our society’s perpetual inclination to fall lower into an abyss of disagreement, disrespect, and decadence. Our inability to respect one another seems to be reaching an all-time low. When I look at @JussieSmollett, though I may not know him, he is just as entitled to respect as anyone else. My heart goes out to this public-figure who draws attention to the many faceless souls that routinely confront malice of this nature. This incident serves as a reminder of the inherent threat of vitriolic ignorance. I not only pray that our society will evolve beyond hatred, but I also challenge us to cease the language that leads to lynchings. Please pray for this young man and his family. We’re allowed to have our beliefs, but those beliefs mustn’t infringe upon another person’s right to live free of such abuse and atrocities. Come on America! We’re better than this. Aren’t we? I hope so.
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As Christians, we can never fail to lose sight of that truth. We must never accept a motive as the end-catalytic-result. We must instead see a motive for what it is, fruit of hate, planted and grown by hate himself.
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” —Ephesians 6:12
Our battle isn’t against the unacceptable behaviors and committed atrocities of hate. Our battle is against hate himself. The previous puts us constantly on the defensive, never able to catch up, never able to fully eradicate that which has plagued humanity since the beginning of time. While the later welcomes us into the offensive of a rigged game—a game that we have already won by His stripes, by His blood!
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What happened to Jussie Smollett is unequivocally and irrevocably wrong. On Tuesday morning he met hate at the hands of two broken men. Now it’s our job, as the body, to pray—to pray without ceasing that our communities and our nation, with its tearing divisions, would know the power of supernatural unity, grace and reconciliation. And it’s our job to act as He directs, as His wisdom maps out—for a rigged game only remains endowed with power through prayer, seeking and obedience.
This isn’t just Sunday school anymore. This isn’t just a pop-quiz. This is real-life, with eternal consequences and we serve a loving, passionate and vengeful God hungry for justice. A God that injustice cannot hide from.