1 John 2: 9-11 NIV states, “Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.”
No wonder Satan’s objective is to blind us with hate. To be honest, he doesn’t have to work very hard. Slavery, Sharecropping, Segregation, Lynchings, Bombings, Cross burnings, and Assissinations of Prominent Leaders and Civil Rights Supporters (black and white) are all a part of our history. Seeds of discord were planted and have taken root throughout generations. Our world is infested with biases, such as stereotypes, prejudices, and discrimination. For Mrs. Jefferson, hate entered her heart when she witnessed police officers use firehoses and attack dogs to control a nonviolent protest that included her classmates. Two of her former classmates died due to a church bombing. One afternoon, she picked up a protester from a local motel, just minutes before it was bombed. The sound was so loud that it shook their car. Imagine what could have happened if they’d been there?!? There were so many bombings in her home town of Birmingham, Alabama that it earned the nickname “Bombingham.”All while leaders such as George Wallace and Theophilus Eugene “Bull” Connor opposed change and supported segregation in the south. Talk about disheartening! Well, take heart my brothers and sisters, as we listen to Mrs. Jefferson’s testimony about the power of the Holy Spirit.
Excerpt of Mrs. Jefferson’s Testimony
“…What I’ve learned from all this is that racism is a spirit and it must be dug up at the roots by the power of the Holy Spirit. This mindset that I had was not taught to me by my parents, but it was learned through my environment. This mind set that I had had to be torn down, but only God could do that. At salvation, I immediately had a mind to please God and to live according to his righteousness. So, it was not until I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit that I began to see myself, and I did not reflect the image of Christ. So I had to allow the Holy Spirit to do a deep work in me.”
Soul Searching Reflection
After everything she’d been through, some could argue that she had every right to feel the way she did. She didn’t do anything wrong! She wasn’t harboring hatred for all those years for no reason. She was the victim of racism. Why should the victim change their mind set? According to Mrs. Jefferson, the Lord spoke to her and said, “It’s time for something new.” As I meditated about those words, this scripture came to mind. John 10:10 states, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (The word abundant means existing or available in large quantities or having plenty). God wants his children to have a full life; however, bitterness and hatred will destroy any chance we have to live abundantly. That’s why we have to be like David and pray these words: “Search me, O God, and know my heart: Try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, lead me in the way everlasting” Psalm 139:23-24 King James Version (KJV). Mrs. Jefferson realized that everlasting is not attached to hate. She could not allow her past to define her present and future in Christ. As I prepare to close, Mrs. Jefferson wanted our Soul Searching family to understand why she did the interview. She wrote the following: “My purpose for sharing this is to testify of the Tranforming Power of God! If we seek him with sincere repentance, He will bring great change with a new way of seeing things, from His perspective. When you change the way you think, you change the way you live! God is Love!”
Soul Searching Discussion
It was important for Mrs. Jefferson to testify about the Transforming Power of God. She couldn’t do that without sharing difficult moments in her life. These moments caused hate to enter her heart; however, God changed her heart. Journal or share how Mrs. Jefferson’s testimony helped you or share about a time when God changed your life.