First, we must not be ruled by anger. Anger is an emotion, not a reaction. We must be in control of our emotions. Emotional responses are temporal. The way you feel today may not be the way you feel tomorrow. We must respond based on Godly principles. When we make a response on principle, it will stand the test of time.
Secondly, we must overcome evil with good. The Bible admonishes us to not get so angry that we commit sin. Peaceful protest is always an appropriate response, but rioting and looting takes the focus off of the cause and puts it on individuals. Rioting is an evil response to evil which can only result in more evil. We must not fall into the mindset that because we are angry, we can commit sin. No good will ever come out of those actions. Only good can conquer evil.
Thirdly, we must fight the good fight of faith. Faith is a shield, but it is also a weapon. When we keep the faith, we join with others of like precious faith. Faith prevents us from losing hope. Dr. King said it best in his "I have a Dream speech."
"With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day." There is hope for Ferguson, Mo.. There is hope for Minneapolis.
Finally, we must stand against injustice anywhere. "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly" (Dr. Martin Luther King– "Letter from Birmingham Jail," 16 Apr. 1963). The events in Ferguson, Mo. are inescapably tied to my personal experiences in Minneapolis. As we become individually united in our stand against injustice anywhere, we become collectively united in our stance for justice everywhere.
Timothy Houston is an author, minister, and motivational speaker who is committed to guiding positive life changes in families and communities. For questions, comments or more information, go to www.tlhouston.com.