Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Zimmerman Verdict: Two Facebook Posts that Actually Got it Right

I have nothing to say about Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman.

Yesterday I saw my newsfeed blown up with posts about the Zimmerman trial. I considered weighing in, but I realized I couldn’t add anything new–everyone else has already had too much to say.

So I’m going to talk about that (what people are saying), instead.

Two posts got it right

I’ve seen a huge divide between my friends on the verdict. Some are rejoicing. Relieved. Thankful. Some are mourning. Afraid. Angry.

What I marvel at is the fact that none of them were there. They all got their info from the same sources. They all made their own judgments, and they all landed at one of two polar-opposite choices.

All except two, that is.

Two of my friends didn’t jump on the bandwagon. They probably had their own opinions about what happened, who was right, and what the verdict should have been. But they kept it to themselves in favor of taking a higher road.

Here’s the first post:

Okay. So here’s how I feel on the Zimmerman trial. I’m frustrated that it’s okay to kill a 17 year old boy, but at the same time if Trayvon really attacked Zimmerman, he has every right to protect himself. The fact is, we don’t know what happened. Only Trayvon, Zimmerman, and God know. In conclusion, humans are imperfect and only God is perfect. We will always fail, but God remains the same. We don’t know the truth, but He does, so He will be the ultimate judge. -Amanda Persaud

Amanda, you’re right. We don’t know the truth.

In his informative analysis of the case, Jonathan Turley says:

The case and its characters long ago took on the qualities of legend. A legend is defined as “a traditional story sometimes popularly regarded as historical but unauthenticated.”

When we don’t have all the information, we have no right to make a judgment. There are times we as Christians are called to judge, such as when a friend and fellow believer is caught in sin and we are (from loving motives!) helping them get back on the right path.

This is not one of those times.

In Sunday School this morning, the speaker brought up Romans 2:2. It applies perfectly:

“Now we know that God’s judgment … is based on truth.”

Only God’s judgment is based on truth.

Only He knows what really happened.

Only He judges men’s hearts. Trayvon Martin’s heart. George Zimmerman’s heart. The jury members’ hearts. Your heart. My heart.

Jesus told the Pharisees:

“Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment.”
John 7:24 (NIV)

We can’t make a right judgment if we don’t know the truth.

I say this in love. I don’t assume that any of you are full of malice and hatred. I have very dear friends on both sides of the issue. I say only what I know–that the media’s nearly-mythical presentation of a situation should not be the basis for our beliefs. That when we don’t have the information, sometimes it’s best to be silent.

That we are called only to love. To do what’s in our power to promote justice when we know how. Then to trust that God will ultimately judge. And he will always get it right.

Here’s the second post:

Despite your personal views on the verdict of the Zimmerman trial, a family still lost their son and a man will have to live the rest of his life knowing he took another man’s life. -Katie R.

I have very little to add to this. She’s right. There was no win in this situation, no matter what you believe the outcome should have been.

I am saddened by what happened. I am praying for the families. If justice was perverted in the trial, I’m sad about that too. But I don’t know.

And so, either way, I have nothing to say.

As a final note:

I see many people reacting in fear–whether it’s fear that what happened to Trayvon could happen to them or their loved ones, or fear that they may one day have to defend themselves and be prosecuted for it. That fear is leading to angry posts. Death threats. Calls for rioting.

The media loves to sell fear–EVEN CHRISTIAN MEDIA. Don’t give in to that fear. That’s not God’s plan for his people. 

I’m going to leave you with a couple of verses, and I hope you’ll join me in believing that God will take care of his people, and that in him, we have nothing to fear.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT)

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear. 1 John 4:18 (NIV)

For I know the plans I have for you,“ declares the Lord, ”plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

1 comment:

  1. Good stuff, really, really good stuff. Perhaps it was meant for me to click onto this blog link. While I am hardly shocked at the not guilty verdict, I can honestly add that it has created dialogue towards the elephant in the room and hopefully people of all ethnicity will take time to look within each other's heart and remove specks from thine own eyes.