"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of POWER, and of LOVE, and of a SOUND MIND." - 2 Timothy 1:7
The struggle for equality and respect on the campus of the University of Missouri has resulted in significant change in leadership and an awareness of the climate at that institution. This has been a harrowing fight for the #ConcernedStudent1950 protesters and supporters; but through their struggle and persistence, there are many lessons that can be learned about using our POWER to foster change in our lives and communities.
POWER – When facing hardship, you may feel as though you do not have the strength to pull through; as though your struggle is overwhelming and too large to conquer. Many of us shy away from challenges (me included) because we doubt our ability to stand strong and endure to the end. However, the source of our strength is from God. He commands us to "be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might," (Eph. 6:10). His might (strength) and His power are available to us, to stand strong in times of trouble. As the students in Missouri have (and currently are) demonstrated to us, YOU have the power to stand, and YOU have the power to fight for what is good, honest, and fair in your life.
LOVE - God is love. He commands us to love. There is power in love. Love is so important to our life's journey. So much so that when asked by the scribes about the order of importance of the Commandments, Jesus confirmed that the second most important commandment after "Thou shall love the Lord..." (Mark 12:29-30), is "You shall love your neighbor as yourself..." (Mark 12:31). At Mizzou, students of all races and backgrounds stood together as neighbors, a community that demanded to be treated fairly and respected equally. Here are a few questions to consider; Do you really love your neighbor (friends, coworkers, community, etc)? Do you have compassion for what others may be going through? So much can be accomplished when we make the decision to love.
A SOUND MIND - A mind that is aware, alert, and whole can be considered 'of sound mind'. This can also include a mind that can devise a strategy, enact plans, and make decisions. the #ConcernedStudent1950 movement at the University of Missouri was the activation of strategy that was focused on a distinct outcome. The students used demonstrations, a hunger strike, and the influence of a significant symbolic and financial resource, the Mizzou Tigers Football Team. In all situations, God gives us ideas, dreams, thoughts, and confirmations that prompt action. The question is, are we using our God-given ability and resources to achieve the goals we envision for our lives? Have you been dreaming about starting a business? Going back to school? Starting a family? Being active in the community? It may be time to make those thoughts a reality. Those students put their ideas to action. They did it, and so can you.
Although the University of Missouri story is far from over, we should applaud these young people for taking a stand for what is right. In so many ways, large and small, they serve as an example to the rest of us; showing us that we all have the Power to make a change. Think about your own life... What do YOU stand for? What do YOU want to change?