Loving by Fighting for the Oppressed

To follow Jesus is to love. 

One of the ways we love in the way Jesus loved is to fight for justice for those who are oppressed.  It is to be a person who finds a way to fight until the oppressed are set free.

Jesus himself said Luke 4:18, “He has sent me…to set the oppressed free.”

So, every follower of Jesus is called to love.  Every follower of Jesus is called to fight for the oppressed.

But, who are “the oppressed”? Merriam-Webster defines oppression as unjust or cruel exercise of authority or power.” So, part of the reason Jesus came was to set free those who are treated unjustly or cruelly through someone’s exercise of authority or power. As His followers then, we have the honor and responsibility of getting in the fight for those who fit in anyway into the definition of “the oppressed”.

Today we are seeing the evil of oppression in the form of racism at its worst.  It is heartbreaking. 


A knee on the throat of George Floyd.

The shooting in cold blood of Ahaumd Arbery.

But, the reality is that the oppression of racism is always present. It is deep in our culture. In our neighborhoods.  In our hearts. Racism is everywhere. Oppression is everywhere.


“He’s black, he must be up to something no good.”

“She’s hispanic. She’s probably not as qualified.”

Racial oppression is evil.  Racial oppression is huge. So what do we do? To be honest, sometimes it can be so overwhelming that it seems like there is very little that can be done to make a difference.  Or, you can be paralyzed by the fear of saying the “wrong thing” when you are trying to “say the right thing”. But, we have to dig in and act, not just when national stories happen, but in our day to day living. We have to fight to set free the oppressed every day.

Here are some starting places for all of us.

Repent.  By repent I mean really ask God to dig down deep into that part of your mind and heart that you are embarrassed is there. Get into part that if someone knew was there, you would be ashamed.  Is there a part of you that has ANY negative thought towards ANYONE based on the color of their skin?  Is there any part of you that puts people of a skin color different than yours into a category of “more likely to do something wrong because of their skin color?” Is there any part of you that makes excuses for those that are the oppressor? Be brutally honest. Confess all of that to God.  Beg Him for help. Ask Him to change the direction of your heart. Ask Him to help you see all people through the eyes of love.  Do this everyday.

Speak up.  As a Christ follower we have to speak up for the oppressed.  We have to.  To say nothing or do nothing is to choose NOT to love. To do nothing is simply quiet approval of the oppression. To “speak up” doesn’t mean it has to be BIG. It doesn’t even mean you have to write a long social media post.  There will be times when speaking up needs to be “louder” than other times. But, it should probably start by speaking up at home. Talk about the reality of racism with your spouse, kids, and friends. Initiate the conversation in every sphere of influence you have. You will probably experience pushback from some but it will be worth it.

Build Friendships.  We all need friends that are different from us. We help each other learn and grow. It is impossible for those of us not in a minority to fully understand the experience of those in a minority. But that is not an excuse not to learn or try to understand at some level.  One of my best friends for the past 25 years is an african american.  He has always been patient, gracious, and open with me when I ask questions about race. He has taught me and challenged me to understand life from a different perspective. 

There may be another place you need to start. Wherever it is, start now. Don’t wait until the next news story. Don’t even wait until tomorrow.

Until all people are free from the oppression of racism, we are not done loving.  Praying all of our hearts change and we all find a way to fight.

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