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Texas A&M Students Inspiring Response To Hatred

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 Hi friend! 

You’ve probably heard of Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas. They’re notorious for their hatred.  

The members of Westboro Baptist Church descended on the Texas A&M campus where my two oldest kids were students. For years, we have noticed the way A&M works to instill character and work ethic in its students. Their motto is: “An Aggie does not lie cheat or steal, nor tolerate those who do.”

Everywhere you look, there are banners relating to various aspects of character and integrity. That character was evident through the  students’ response to Westboro’s protests. It makes me prouder than punch and confirms why we love that university so much. 

If you haven’t watched the video yet, go back to the top and watch it now to see what they did.

 

texas a&m

 

There are approximately 10,000 students who attend a weekly Bible study on the A&M campus. There are many other Texas A&M students who attend or lead Bible studies around town. I can see the Christian influence in the actions of the students in this video. I don’t think I’m being naive in saying that. Why?

Because it’s a real challenge to be loving when someone is hateful. Our natural human response is to give in to our emotions and retaliate.  It takes divine power to demonstrate love in those instances. 

Jesus was famous for his love and compassion. He wants us to be notorious for our love too.

In some of his last words to his disciples, Jesus taught how important it was to him for them to love each other. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35) In this verse he was speaking specifically of brotherly love in the family of Christ. That love would be an identifying mark of his followers.

Because love is a fruit of the spirit and is meant to be a well-rooted characteristic and habit of Christ-followers, it makes sense to think that this love would naturally overflow to those outside the church as well.

We love because God first loved us – even while we were outside his family. 

Romans 12:21 teaches us, “Love must be sincere.” That kind of love is manifested in us through the power of God’s Holy Spirit at work in us. The sincerity of our love for God and others is demonstrated in our lives as we live by his power.

That love becomes tangible as we follow God’s instructions. For example, he teaches in Romans 12: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” The A&M students were not overcome by evil. They faced evil head-on with good.

In this situation, Westboro is known for hate. These Texas A&M students are known for love. 

Who is influencing the world and benefiting the kingdom of God most? Who did the most harm to the kingdom?

I’ve got a personal question for you now. Have you ever been totally riled up about something . . . some injustice that made you want to go into battle mode? Yeah. Me too.

Battle mode can be dangerous. Sometimes we lose our senses and give in to anger as we attempt to exact revenge. It can lead us to a place where we obliterate the image of Christ – like Westboro. 

We were once “darkness” as we followed the ruler of this world (Satan). But we have been rescued. We are now children of light. We’re called to find out what pleases God, and live as children of light.

Paul teaches us to get rid of behaviors that are not appropriate for Christ-followers: bitterness, rage, anger, brawling, slander and every other form of malice. Instead, we’re instructed to adopt kindness, compassion, and forgiveness.

This is only possible as we live each day depending on his power to strengthen us internally.

What if the next time you were enraged you remembered the love and compassion of Jesus? What do you want to be known for? How can you overcome evil with good?

I’m not talking about being a doormat here. Those students were far from being doormats. 

  1. They resisted their natural human nature. You and I both know how brutal that can be. It requires supernatural strength and grit. True Christianity isn’t for wimps. The fullness of the gospel call us to die to self and live for God’s desires.
  2. They stood up for something. They stood up for God’s way of doing things. They stood for love. That required a lot of courage, but they were strong in their convictions. Did you see that?

Share this video and discuss these truths with your small group or those you’re discipling. If you’re a parent, show this video to your kids. Talk to them about the importance of trusting God and following his instructions. In relation to the video, ask them the question, “Who influenced the world and benefited the kingdom of God the most? Who did the most harm to the kingdom?” Ask them why. Teach them about God’s love, and the importance of being known for our love.

What did you think of the actions of the A&M students? What do you think of the wisdom of God’s way – to love and overcome evil with good? How have you seen the benefits of putting this into practice in the real world?

You might also be interested in this article in the Huffington Post:

Texas A&M Students Form Human Wall to Block Westboro Baptist Church Protestors From Soldier Roy Tisdale’s Funeral 

 
Lisa~

 

One Comment

  1. Kathleen says:

    What do I think of Texas A & M students? I’m impressed! Very much impressed! Thank you for posting this.

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