Focus of Thought:
The freedom of your soul is as important as the freedom of your neighbor’s soul. As we celebrate Black History Month, we celebrate a culture that is very much important to the progress of the United States of America and all countries across the globe. Often, we wonder how to look at minorities. A minority myself, I sometimes get lost in what it means to black. Yes, blackness is just a pigmentation of my skin, but it represents a culture and tradition of people that are valuable to the world, but seldom recognized.
If I were to live by the dictates of my skin I would be sorely confused. "Am I valuable or am I worthless?" Thank God for his love, that instantly settles this dispute.
"Tied in a single garment of destiny", we must understand that without each other our purpose is not served. We all bring a gift to the world that should be of honorable service to our fellow brother. Unfortunately, many use their gifts and privileges to stunt the growth of their neighbor.
If God has given me the ability to write, why would I selfishly hide my abilities so that no one can enjoy it? What is the point of a gift with no recipient? More importantly, why would I hide what someone may need? I believe that as a society, we have constantly held our gifts and privileges close to our vest-making it hard for our neighbor to enjoy the best of their life.
I am not implying that we should be responsible for our neighbors’ decisions to grow. I am implying that we must look at the world with a sense of equality, not in what we have, but in what we share with our neighbors.
It is said that George Washington Carver lived by eight virtues. The eighth was this "Who takes his share of the world and lets other people have theirs."
Expression of Thought:
" [He who] does not put out his money for interest [to one of his own people] and who will not take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be moved" [AMPC] Psalm 15:5. We see that in the Old Testament the law admonished the act of using money (wealth), for any unjustifiable offense, but in the New Testament we see something a bit different. In the Bible Encyclopedia and Dictionary, A.R. Fausset explains that " the law aimed at an equal diffusion of wealth, not enriching some while others are poor. " Fausset continues to explain that the "spirit of the law is obligatory, but the letter of the law is abrogated."
As the Jewish people moved on to mercantilism, Jesus gives a different meaning of the law, but includes the same spirit of justice. In the Parable of the Talents, we learn that the gifts and talents God gives us is for His purpose. He in fact, loans it to us. The use of our gifts must be of satisfaction to return to His glory. In Matthew 25, Jesus warns us to make more out of what is given to us, whether we have one, two, or five endowments from God. The purpose is to use our share for God's glory, not to use the gift wickedly. In fact, when the servant with one talent did nothing with his gift, the servant was destined to eternal punishment.
In all measurements of gifting we must use it to the glory of God. As all law hangs on Love, “loving your neighbor as [you do] yourself, it is important that all of our gifting and privileges be of assistance to all who need it.
In my life I have personally chosen to take my gifts and multiply them to abundance. In no cases do I plan to disserve anyone of humanity, because of the color of their skin.
I am not pleading for equality and justice, because God has freely given us those things. I ask that in a world where our choices are bound together, that we all begin to see each other as equitable and justified.
To me, Black History Month is not a celebration of skin. It is a celebration of those who have come before us, who used their gifts to make the world better, a world that treated them so cruelly. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, George Washington Carver, Sojourner Truth, Fredrick Douglas, Maya Angelou and an endless list of names, many we may never know, used their share of the world and left the rest for us to do better.
We all have something special to give to the world. Whatever we receive from God, we have to do our parts to make sure others have the capacity to succeed too.
We greatly depend on each other. In a world full a chaos and discontent, it is to our benefit that we use our talent and the fruits that it brings to better serve the world. What are you using your gifts and privileges for? Remember they’re not just for you, they’re not just for others that look like you, your neighbor can be anyone.
"Who takes his share of the world and lets other people have theirs." -George Washington Carver
King, Martin Luther. “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” Center for Africana Studies , University of Pennsylvania , www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Letter_Birmingham.html.
Carver, George Washington, and Gary R. Kremer. George Washington Carver: in His Own Words. University of Missouri Press, 1987, books.google.com/books?id=5q6eTEJb_ioC&printsec=frontcover&dq=george washington Carver in his own words&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwig6JHWwZ3gAhUQeawKHQzzBUAQ6AEIKjAA#v=onepage&q=george washington Carver in his own words&f=false.
Fausset, A. R. Bible Encyclopedia and Dictionary: Critical and Expository. Zondervan.