Try This Spirit-Infused Response to Racial Tension and See What God Does

(Photo by Omar Lopez on Unsplash)

I was nervous. Something had happened that would make this, my first day of high school, different from all the other first days of high school at South Park High. For this would be the first day that my school would be officially integrated.

The year was 1971, and it seemed the school board had closed Hebert High, the local African-American high school, and was busing the Hebert students to South Park, a predominately white school.
The Hebert High Panthers were livid, and my friends were both angry and terrified. That first morning, the halls of South Park were filled with fear and hate speech. I could feel the tension; I could see the hate.
That night, I brought it all to the Lord. What do I do, Lord? How can I help this situation? I asked Him.
His still quiet voice filled my young heart: "Be kind. Be kind to everyone."
So, armed with kindness, I faced the hate, and I felt the peace of God.
That first year was rough, with student fistfights along with hate-filled shouting matches. But none of this turmoil affected me. I was not only protected by my kindness, but my kindness drew kindness from those around me. I made new friends of both races, and I learned that skin color could not stop the love of God or stop those in our student body from caring about one another. It seemed that kindness was catching on.
By the end of my four years at South Park, the racial tensions had melted away. Our football team went to state, and most everyone seemed to get along.
It turns out that one of the fruits of the Spirit is kindness. Whenever you can, flow in this fruit. Kindness is a gift the enemy cannot challenge, for as the Word of God says, against the fruit of the Spirit there is no law. It is never illegal to be kind! Or loving! Or peaceful! Or patient! Or flow with joy!
If you've never flowed in the fruit of the Spirit, now's the time you tried it. Simply pray along with me.
Dear Lord,

Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT) says, "But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things."

So Lord, I open my heart to you, through Jesus, who died to save me from my sins. Jesus, who was resurrected from the dead and who sends His Holy Spirit to me. Lord, I ask for more Holy Spirit in my life. I ask for every fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Show me how to flow in your Holy Spirit every day. Show me how to not only flow in each of these fruits, but to use them to defeat the enemy.

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In Jesus' name, Amen.

Thank You, Lord!

Linda Evans Shepherd is a nationally known Christian speaker and a bestselling author of over 30 books. She's the president of Right to the Heart Ministries, founder of the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA) and the founder of GodTest.com. Her latest book is When You Need to Move a Mountain.

This article originally appeared at gottopray.com.

To learn more about the power of kindness, listen to the podcasts included here!

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