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Not long ago, I had a brief email conversation with a brother in New York regarding the recent situation in Ferguson, Missouri. A brother in Alabama shared his thoughts on the situation in Missouri with an email post that contained nothing but Scripture. Evidently, it hit the brother in New York hard, and negatively. He sent me an email expressing himself with pointed (but not unchristian) words disapproving of the post. If an email can have “passionate” written all over it this one did. I thought about engaging him in a debate, but I restrained myself from doing so, and only sent him a note:

“No fear, brother. What is important is dialogue, the Lord’s teaching, and the application of His higher will to our lives. From a distance, I am in no position to judge, so I don’t. Isn’t it a good thing the Lord looks past our individual failings as we live in the midst of collective failings? But for the grace of God there go I. I did a quick reading of your email. Tomorrow I will read again. Have a great evening, brother.  You are an asset to the saints in your service to the Lord.”

Passions can run high when from a distance a person judges something with incomplete information. When such occurs misunderstanding perpetuates. In my estimation, this is what happened here. The next morning he wrote me and was very pleased with what I said and wished me nothing but the best.

It may never be easy to know just how to respond to human situations like that which occurred in Missouri; but, on the other hand, if Romans 12:9-21 is applied, we know exactly how to respond.