I went to see “All Eyez On Me” yesterday. The movie about Tupac, his life and career and everything he went through. I thought it was the saddest thing I had seen in a long time. To see so much talent, drive and purpose to be thrown away because of hatred and pride. I say that because he had a message for the world and was successful in getting it out there but the people he surrounded himself with were actually dragging him in the wrong direction. They all were trapped. Blinded by the illusion of success and the overpowering hatred that controlled their lives. I think that if Tupac had been introduced to the God that I know, he would not only be alive today, but he would be the strongest voice and advocate for all people to be able to overtake injustice within themselves, because he would have had to have done that himself with God’s help and wisdom. Unfortunately, he allowed his thoughts and feelings rule his life and he hooked up with people who shared those thoughts and feelings. This was his demise and we will never see how great God could have worked through him.
I think the most challenging thing everyone faces these days is understanding the we have control over our emotions and thoughts, if only we would harness that control and exercise it. Each day presents a new challenge with our own personal circumstances as well as those of the world. We see injustice happening all over, whether it’s in our community, our country or across the globe. How we react to it determines our peace within. This is where we have control. How do we react?
Do we allow our circumstances to elevate our anger, hatred and feelings for vengeance? Or do we dig deep inside to see exactly what does God tell us to do? He’s constantly talking to us, in His Word and in our own hearts. Do we search out His guidance and then listen to His wisdom? No. We look at His wisdom and brush it off like it’s foolishness.
Jesus told us in Matthew 5:38-42, “You have heard that it was said,’ An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth’. But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.”
Do I do that on a consistent basis? Nope. My first reaction to someone who has accused me of something (whether I am guilty or not) is to deny and fight back. That’s what we all do, but it’s not what we are told to do. It’s certainly not what Jesus did when they put him on trial, then beating Him within inches of His life and finally when they hung Him on the Cross. The entire time, He only felt love for them and even asked God to forgive them. He let them go all the way and kill Him. I think we have forgotten the significance of that.
His knowledge of what is true and eternal is what allowed Him to tolerate all of that injustice done to Him. There is no one in the world who has ever existed throughout earth’s history that has exemplified the absolute grace that God has allotted each one of us. Only Jesus has been able to live His entire life completely through God’s word and wisdom. But there are many people who have eventually learned through constant study, prayer, fasting and focus how to surpass the initial emotional bombardment of retaliation and see further into eternity.
This is what is so incredible. Each and every one of us were made in God’s image and we all have access to that grace and power, if only we devote ourselves to absorbing it through constant study, prayer, fasting and focus. If we were to just take a moment to let that sink in, we might have a chance because within that moment is when we will feel God’s Presence in our souls. Once you feel Him, you crave more of Him. The only way to get more of Him is to get into His word. Meditate on it. Let it become a part of you. When you abide in Him, then He will abide in you. Then, when you have adversity in your way, you can see through it and control your thoughts, your emotions and your reactions, even if it means to the death.
It’s amazing each time you are able to do it because you know you’ve been visited by the Kingdom of God. You are in His Presence and you end up wanting more. This is how we will change the world.