Devotional for Monday June 1st

Good Morning Everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Think for yourself”
Our Bible verse for today: “And the tongue is a fire. The tongue, a world of unrighteousness, is placed among our members. It stains the whole body, sets the course of life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell … it is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” James 3:6; 8 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Don’t pour fuel on the fire.”
I had a different devotional message planned for today, but I’ll save it for tomorrow. This morning I feel compelled to share some thoughts about the riots that are taking place all across our nation. Peaceful protest is not the problem. Violent rioting is the problem. Many of the protesters are demonstrating against the unjust killing of a man in police custody. That anger is understandable and the peaceful protests are legal (although in some locations they do violate the stay-at-home orders that are still in place, but that’s a minor issue at this point).
What has happened is that violent agitators have hijacked the peaceful protests and are using them as a cover to perpetrate acts of lawless aggression, along with anarchy and looting. That then creates a mob mentality and many who would otherwise never engage in such acts, get caught-up in and swept along with the emotional intensity and the supercharged atmosphere. That’s what a mob mentality does to people.
I honestly don’t believe there are many, or any, true Bible-believing Christians out rampaging in the streets with those mobs. But there are Christians succumbing to the mob mentality on social media. Sadly, there are Christians who are adding to the anger and the supercharged emotions by posting angry rants, or sharing snarky and even mean-spirited memes pertaining to this situation. Their social media tongues are precisely what James was describing in James 3:3-12 – the tongue can be a fire, and it can create fires (sometimes literal ones), and it spreads poison.
Please don’t be that person. It only makes the situation worse. It elevates an already too high level of tension and it perpetuates all the anger and the hate. It just pours fuel on the fire. In any situation, Christians should be the calm voices of reason and clarity. We should be the agents of peace, the ones who help to calm things down.
I want to encourage you resist allowing yourself to be sucked into the swirling vortex of anger and hate. Don’t give-in to the mob mentality on social media. Think for yourself; be the calm voice of reason; help to make things better rather than worse. You may not be out in the streets breaking windows and throwing literal firebombs, but even verbal firebombs thrown on social media make a bad situation worse. Don’t be that guy. 
God Bless,
Pastor Jim
Copyright © 2020 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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