Trayvon Martin’s Blood On My Hands

George Zimmerman,The verdict is in and George Zimmerman has been found not guilty of the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. This case has broken two  families, shaken a town, put a state in the judicial crosshairs, and divided once again our great nation. So if George Zimmerman is not guilty, who is? My conclusion is that I have a little bit of Trayvon Martin’s blood on my own hands.

I could ask people, “What do you think about the verdict?” or “How do you feel about the verdict?” but if I don’t ask… and answer the question, “What have I learned from this tragedy?” I have wasted the opportunity to grow as an individual. I miss the opportunity of God working something beneficial in me from the tragic situation on the night of February 26, 2012 in Sanford, Florida. What I have learned from this sad chain of events is that I share part of the guilt of Trayvon Martin’s death. How did I come to this conclusion? I started digging and peeling back some layers over the past thirty years of my adult life. I dug down to the root of problem.

I could have stayed at, “If George Zimmerman would have never gotten out of the car, Trayvon Martin would still be alive.” However, As I dug, I asked myself, “Why was Zimmerman even in the car?” I obviously realized he was on his way to Target but why did he have his Neighborhood Watch hat on while driving in his neighborhood that night? Another scoop of dirt led me to ask, “Why was this neighborhood broken into in the first place?” Who committed these crimes and why were not caught? If I had stopped digging there, I would have concluded that local police and the lack of home security systems have failed us as a society. However, I kept on digging. I told myself, “If I am going to blame George Zimmerman for getting out of a car for trying to make his neighborhood safer, I must blame police for not protecting this neighborhood, and the government for not providing a free home security system for every American. It was a crazy conclusion as I thought of how much our deficit would increase with hiring the police we need in every school and neighborhood. Add to it the cost of a home security system for every American home who could not afford one. Then I realized I must place blame on the people who committed the crimes in his neighborhood that led Zimmerman to his reaction to their actions. They were nowhere to be found… imagine that.

parents-trayvon-martin-parents100The people who had been breaking the 8th Commandment, “Thou Shall Not Steal”, were at the bottom of this tragedy and there I thought I had my guilty party but I dug one more time.

In recent years we have asked that the 10 Commandments to be removed from public display. Yes, at the root of this story are people across our nation breaking the 8th Commandment, causing neighborhoods to take action, causing people like George Zimmerman to purchase guns, causing people like him, black and white, to follow people that fit descriptions of those who had been committing these crimes.

My travels down the road of cause and effect led me to a dead end that I did not want to be at. Surely, George Zimmerman, along with countless Americans have guns because they feel our government can’t protect them and their homes anymore, thus, the reason for the rise of gun sales and security systems over the past 50 years.

We, the people, don’t want the 10 Commandments in our schools and government buildings anymore and God is slowly showing us what happens when we remove His ethics from a society. He has been showing us that for decades now. A new generation has grown up in America absent of God and the Bible directly influencing their daily lives.

At the dead end of the road of “cause and effect” I dug one last time and hit rock bottom and saw that, we as a nation have rejected God’s Word time and time again. Our first president, George Washington, said it best, ““It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.” When I got down to the bottom of the issue, I realized we had not only rejected the wisdom of our first president, we had rejected the wisdom of our Creator and our God. In God We Trust has just become words on our lips and our currency. The reality of this grave matter is this: When we all travel down the  road of cause and effect and do a little digging, we all may discover a little of Trayvon Martin’s blood on our hands.

it-is-impossible-to-rightly-govern-the-nation-without-god-and-the-bible-george-washington

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Don’t Judge Me Bro!

“Don’t judge me.” Have you ever heard someone say this? It’s a very popular response when people make a judgment call on someone or something. We, as Americans, seem to have a schizophrenic relationship with judging others. On the one hand we cry foul play by saying, “Don’t judge” and on the other hand we can’t seem to stop making judgment calls. In fact, I would say we actually love to watch judgment in action.

Take for example the TV shows that millions of Americans tune into each week. One can find judgment on all levels. American Idol has their judges. Survivor has a weekly judging party and ends the season with a jury. People love drama and get in on the judging themselves. The People’s Court, and shows like it, seem to be doing well too with Judge Judy, Judge Mathis, and Judge Joe Brown. People love to watch the action.

So, why the cry of do not judge? I believe one reason is that the Bible says, “Do not judge so that you will not be judged” (Matthew 7:1). Jesus said these words and it is important to read the words which follow because if one just takes that one verse out of it’s context, people would never have the right to make a judgment call according to Jesus. Good thing He elaborates on this topic a little. He goes on to say, “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you” (Matthew 7:2). My first thought about this statement is that if I just lower my standards, I’m good with Jesus and off the hook. If I have an “anything goes” standard of living, and I sport that same standard to everyone else, then that is how God will judge me someday. Here again, it’s good Jesus explains His train of thought.

Jesus continues, “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:3-4). I think Jesus was stating the obvious here, we all have our problems and issues. Some may be small like a speck and some have issues like a log in their eye. I don’t know if you have ever had something small in your eye like a gnat or a speck of dirt. If you have, I’m sure you realize how irritating it can be. It is something you go to a mirror for or someone else that can help you.

I believe God has given us two things in life to help us with our eye problems. One is a spiritual mirror, which is the Bible. If one studies it with The Holy Spirit’s influence and guidance all the logs and specks become clear and the remedy for them is understood. The second thing God gives us is Spirit Controlled Christians. They are people who can help you see things that you and others around you can’t see. This is why Jesus finishes up this passage and thought with, “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:5). I believe Jesus has two goals here, first, to clear up your vision and then, for you to help clear up others. His goal is for believers to judge rightly, not to never judge. This is why The Apostle Paul says later, “Don’t you know that God’s people will judge the world? And if you are going to judge the world, aren’t you able to judge small cases? Don’t you know that we will judge angels? Then we should be able to judge the things of this life even more!” (1 Corinthians 6:2-3).

So… how is your eyesight? Get in front of the spiritual mirror daily and find some Spirit controlled people to connect with weekly. Don’t forget when Jesus gives you better vision, don’t just enjoy it, help someone else to see clearer.