This post was originally written in 2016 and now in 2020, I hate to say that 4 years later, we still have news stories full of injustice. Although many of these articles/resources are a few years old, all the concepts are still very pertinent today.
When we see senseless violence all around us, our reaction often is to bury our heads in the sand & pretend like it doesn’t exist. We can’t just ignore these stories, we should look at them with our eyes wide open. We should ask God to help us see these injustices through His eyes. We should be asking ourselves is there something worth educating myself on so we can better understand my brothers and sisters in Christ that live in different countries, have a different skin color, live in a different social or economic bracket than we do. In educating myself and genuinely being open to hear other people’s experiences, I find I can better help my children learn about the issues at hand today and how to be a part of the solution. It’s hard work because it makes us uncomfortable, but that is what leads to growth!
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I’ve read several books over the last few years that have opened my eyes & pushed me on this journey of exploration and learning (see my recommended books below) But the one that tipped the scales for me, was called “Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson and it rocked my world. I was so compelled to learn more, I went to hear Bryan speak at a local university, he is a true inspiration. If you haven’t read this book, I highly encourage you to do so… it is just as the cover reads a story of justice and redemption, but it is also so much more. It is an eye opening account of Bryan’s experience as a lawyer who steps in to help those wrongly accused and unfairly sentenced to death. UPDATED: There is now a Young Adult version of this book for pre-teens/teens and a movie that is both heartbreaking and inspiring!
I think too often we think that “America has come a long way in dealing with these issues” but if you look deeper, you will that we still have a LONG way to go.
As mothers, we are raising the next generation and it’s easy to forget how important OUR role is in SHAPING how the next generation views these same issues.
For me, this looks like educating myself and using that education to shape how I lead in my family, my church and my community. Educating myself is shaping my conversations with my children and leading to teaching moments. I pray these conversations shape them into people that make a difference and stand up for those who look different than they do when they are treated unfairly. I encourage you to educate yourself as well… I’m including a few articles that I’ve come across and I hope to add more as I continue my exploration of learning. Start with education, but let’s not end there my friends, let’s step out and make a difference in our homes, in our communities, in our churches and in our world.
I think in these polarized days many terms such as “social justice”, “systemic racism” etc. have many different meanings depending on who uses them. I love the thoughts from this author in an article that works to understand these terms from a Christian view. She has studied many of these controversial terms and helps Christians figure out how to navigate the terms without abandoning Scripture and the fact that God calls us to stand up for injustice.
Hear me out, I am not trying to point fingers or add to the problem, my true heart here is for us to think outside of ourselves and see the world through a bigger lens… it’s time to do something, let’s not be silent my friends and this process starts in our homes!
I think it’s also important to remember that PRAYER is also a powerful part of this process. I LOVE the call to prayer that is unpacked here by Tasha and the If:Gathering team. The prayers of God’s people should lead us to places that we can step in and make a difference in all this!
Tasha (featured in this video) is a leading voice in the church and leads a great organization to help us better understand racial reconciliation and how we can play a part. Check out the great resources at Be a Bridge Builder!
UPDATED: This is a great article from Tasha in Christianity Today! Also check out this beautiful Unity Conversation between Jennie Allen & Tasha Morrison – this is long, but so good. Take some time this week to listen to their hearts on this subject.
Articles on Fighting Injustice:
What Christians Should Know about Social Justice- this article does a good job of laying out the difference between the world’s view of social justice and the biblical view
A Christian Approach to Social Justice An article about taking a slow self-reflective approach as a Christian to “social justice” so your approach doesn’t become unbiblical
Article from a Christian Scholar on Social Justice, CRT and other hot button terms
Lastly, I think it’s important for me to add that just because you are educating yourself does NOT mean that you need to share EVERYTHING you learn with your children. Personally, I use this information to shape conversations and teaching moments, I don’t give them wide open access to the media and details of all situations in the news. I share more with my 17 year old than I do with my 12 year old. You have to know your children and what is helpful for them and what is not.
Here are a some good posts about talking to your children:
How to Talk to Kids about Race and Racism
Beyond The Golden Rule – A Guide for All Ages
Will talking to your kids about race make them Racist – this mom’s blog is filled with good info about talking with your children
Books about Social Justice to Teach Your Kids – great book list to educate your kids
Find some other moms around you that are willing to walk this journey with you, I’m so thankful for my tribe that tackled some of these hard books together to grow in our understanding! I truly believe it is changing the way we parent and lead in the community around us! Change starts one step at a time, nothing changes if we refuse to acknowledge it’s a problem.
If your heart is burdened and you want to dive a little deeper into this topic, here is some book recommendations: (some I’ve personally read and others have come highly recommended):
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption – this is the one I mentioned at the beginning of the post. It is a hard read as it describes incarceration with details you probably don’t want to know, but it’s important for you to know! Here’s a TedTalk by the author as well, good insightful stuff.
Same Kind of Different As Me: A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together – I read this one several years ago and it was such a great powerful read. An insightful look into what happens when a “rich” man befriends a “poor” man, everyone should read this one, it will change you!
– Be The Bridge by LaTasha Morrison – I value Tasha’s voice so much in this space! She has a heart for seeing Christians become the leaders in the conversation on racial reconciliation. This guide helps readers deepen their understanding of historical factors and present realities, equipping them to participate in the ongoing dialogue and to serve as catalysts for righteousness, justice, healing, transformation, and reconciliation.
Share one thing below that you hope to pass on to the next generation around the idea of social injustice or resources you have found helpful in the comments below:
Founder of The Praying Mom
This website was birthed out of Christy's passion to see women become intentional in their lives. She is passionate about helping moms discover their purpose in their homes, churches, communities & world!
I just ordered almost every single one of these books. Having adopted a child from Ethiopia has opened my eyes in a unique way to so much in the way of racial discrimination and social injustices. Excited to read these and thankful you wrote about this topic!
Kelly,thankful that you found it helpful! Love your heart and praying for your family!
Thanks for this post friend, and for your heart. I will check out these books.
Well said, my friend. Well said.