Last night’s shooting in Dallas which left five police officers dead was, in the words of President Obama, a “despicable attack.” Police officers, doing their job in protecting lives, were needlessly gunned down because, one suspect said he wanted to kill white people, particularly white police officers.
I must confess that I am deeply disturbed by campaigns which say “Black Lives Matter” or “Police Lives Matter.” Yes, I believe that some African American suspects have been needlessly killed by police brutality, and I also believe that police officers have been needlessly killed by African Americans. But, what troubles me is that we talk about some lives which matter. The truth of the matter, my friend, is that ALL lives matter. The brutality must stop. The valuing of one life over another must stop. We need to come together, not as Americans or as black people or white people or Hispanics or any other race, but as human beings made in the likeness and image of God.
When God made man, he gave him worth, not because he was from a certain race or occupation, but because man bore his very image. “‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:26-27). The image of God gives every human being—white or black, gay or straight, Muslim or Christian, man or woman—value.
Sure, not everyone’s life aligns with the Word of God, but teaching, not violence, is necessary. Jesus taught us to live a life of peace: “Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also” (Matthew 5:39). Paul, the Lord’s Apostle, likewise, through the Spirit, taught us to live at peace: “Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God” (Romans 12:17-19).
Live at peace with all men. Love your fellow man. Bless your fellow man. Treat all people—no matter who they are—with the dignity and respect they deserve. After all, they bear the image of God. Go bless someone today!