Dear Christians: Just shut up about Dylann Roof

I sit here with a broken heart.  A deeply troubled young man has taken the lives of so many precious people.  My heart aches.

I am on Facebook (which is sometimes good, sometimes bad).  Today, it’s bad.  I’m reading of great leaders of our churches calling Dylann a “racist little punk,” “evil-hearted monster” and saying he should be hung or lined up in front of a firing squad.  A friend of mine I went to Bible college with posted:  “I hope he doesn’t get off on an insanity plea, what he did was just plain evil and he deserves the chair.”  His own uncle stated “He’ll get no sympathy from us” and ““He’s going to pay for what he’s done, I’d pull the switch myself, if they’d let me.”

If these statements reflect what you are feeling, stop reading now because I’m only going to tick you off.  Seriously – so stop.

 

DylannRoof_

First, I cannot hate this young man.  “Whoever hates is still in the dark, stumbles around in the dark, doesn’t know which end is up, blinded by the darkness.”  (1 Jn. 2:11)  If I hate him, how am I any better than he is?  Don’t stop reading just because there’s Bible verses thrown in there.  Hear me out (but there will be more verses).

Not only am I not able to hate him, I must love him.  “The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God because God is love – so you can’t know him if you don’t love.”  (1 Jn. 4:8)  I don’t get to choose who I hate and who I love.  I’m commanded to love.  Period.

“Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.”  Eph. 4:32  Who the heck do I think I am to not offer forgiveness and love to others?  Can I disagree with Dylann’s actions?  Absolutely!

Satan used this young man to bring so much misery to so many people.  Did you get that?  SATAN used this man.  This man was originally created for a charlestonGodly purpose.  God has his eyes on him and lovingly created him for a reason.  Somewhere along the way, satan got his hands on Dylann.  What difference could someone loving him had made?  I read somewhere online “He almost changed his mind because they were so nice.”

What if he heard reports of his uncle saying “We love you” rather than “Ride the lightening”?  I hope he is hearing the message of the victims’ families saying:

‘You hurt me. You hurt a lot of people. But God forgives you. I forgive you.’

Gary and Aurelia Washington, center left and right, the son and granddaughter of Ethel Lance who died in Wednesday's shooting, leave a sidewalk memorial in front of Emanuel AME Church comforted by fellow family members Thursday, June 18, 2015, in Charleston, S.C. Dylann Storm Roof, 21, was arrested Thursday in the slayings of several people, including the pastor at a prayer meeting inside the historic black church. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
(AP Photo/David Goldman)

No, they were not my family members he murdered.  How can I talk about love and forgiveness when I’m not the one affected?  But you know what, the victims families ARE talking about forgiveness.  According to news.Yahoo.com – “Relatives of the Charleston church shooting victims gave emotional statements during Dylann Roof’s initial court appearance Friday, some of them breaking into sobs as one after another they told the man suspected of killing their loved ones that they forgive him.”

Now, whether you believe in God or not, THIS ought to make you think.  Dylann didn’t show any signs of remorse.  He didn’t ask forgiveness from anyone.  Yet they have offered forgiveness to him anyway.  Through their pain, maybe even hatred towards Dylann, they are forgiving him.  Why?  Because they follow this crazy man named Jesus, you know, the one who sat with drunks, had patience with jerks, hung out with sluts and had dinners with thieves.  The Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church is modeling what it means to truly follow this Jesus character.  Not just going to church Sunday mornings when it’s convenient,  not just when it’s easy but when it’s really, really hard.  They are showing Jesus to the world right now.

So now for my special note to Christians specifically.  The world is watching.  They’re watching what the victims’ families are saying.  They’re watching how the church responds, they are watching how YOU respond.  When you say things like you hope he fries, you look exactly like the rest of the world.  There is no light in that.  Jesus calls us to be the light of the world, set apart and showing love.  Pray for these families who have lost loved ones.  Pray for Dylann.  These families know where their loved ones are.  They are sad but they know.  Dylann’s soul is lost and needing saved right now.  Pray for these families but also pray for Dylann.  My Mama always told me if I didn’t have anything nice to say, to not say anything at all.  So, I’ll put it to you this way:  Church, if you cannot reflect the heart of Jesus, just shut up about Dylann Roof.  You’re only feeding what the world thinks about “those Christians” if you only spew more hate.

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No Magic here…..

It’s been a crazy busy week but a good one.  Just wanted to do a quick post to fill in everybody on the progress of this weight loss journey I’m on.  I didn’t blog last week but my weigh in was 172.2 (loss of .8).  A little smaller number than usual but I was still happy with it.  So far, I’ve not gained or stayed the same  – I’ve lost something all 19 weeks of this journey.  If only you knew how many times in my life I’ve tried this and failed….

What’s different this time?  I’ve got a coach, a sponsor (accountability partner) and I’m helping mentor someone else through this journey.  When you’ve got a team to work with, it’s amazing how much more accountability there is and when someone else is looking to you for information, you’ve got to be the real deal.  You can’t back off or eat unhealthy stuff when someone else is watching you.  It’s amazing what accountability does.

My weigh in this morning was 168.2, a loss of 4 pounds just this week (and a loss of 36.2 so far)!  That’s the most I’ve lost in a single week!!  I’m now in the 160’s!!  I’m teaching a large money saving strategies class tonight and I’ve been working a lot of hours putting the final touches on the presentation.  Tomorrow is my son’s birthday, I’m having a yardsale Thursday and Friday, my daughter is running her own lemonade and cookie stand during it,  and our best friends are coming to spend the weekend with us for Dylan’s big birthday party on Monday.  When I have that much going on in my life, I want to eat!  That’s why my goal this week was to survive without gaining anything.  So far, so good – a 4 pound loss is major in my world!

I’ve had tons more people asking me how I did it… what’s the secret.  I feel like I’m disappionting them when I say “Eat healthy & exercise.”  I think they are expecting some magic potion or pill.  I get contacted on facebook almost weekly about trying a new diet drink, pill or strategy.  There is no magic here.  It’s hard work and learning.  “When we stop growing, our momentum quickly fades, and we start the process of atrophy.”  – Zig Ziglar

It’s about the choices you make.  “Like a sturdy building, each choice we make to honor God is a block in the structure of our spiritual experience.  We grow stronger with each God-honoring decision.  Life is a classroom.  Only those who are willing to be lifelong learners will move to the head of the class.”  – Zig Ziglar

Have a good week, folks!  God bless!

Oh, and if you want to follow this blog, click on the “Yep, I’m in!  Sign me up!”  button to the right of this text and you’ll get an email everytime I blog (usually once per week). Be aware, I also blog on here about coupons and money saving strategies so you’ll get some info. on that too if you sign up!