As the chant, “Black Lives Matter” holds center stage across our nation, there is this growing counter call, “All Lives Matter”. This response derives from those who want to retain their own sense of value and not be excluded from the equation. Does one life hold more value over another life . . . Whose lives matter? This is a question which comes up more often than we may think. We have come to that place where we question the value of a life. Does my life matter more than yours? Does the life of an unborn child matter more than the life of the mother? Does the life of a teenaged Leukemia patient matter more than the life of a cancer-stricken senior? Do Black Lives matter more than All Lives?
Respect is definitely very important to me. In my life as a leader there are two things that I hold close to in my relationship with others and they are respect and loyalty. Let me address loyalty briefly. Loyalty is important in any kind of relationship, because you want to know that that person has your back. Loyalty should not be blind in its purpose, nor should it require one to bend the rules or break the law to demonstrate one’s faithfulness to another – rather loyalty in its simplest form is seen when a person stands by you to support and be an aide with no hidden agenda. This type of loyalty is two-way, in that when one helps the other, the other when opportunities or situations arise remembers the one that was there for them and reciprocates.
Across this nation, from local governments, to state, and federal legislatures and through various court rulings on religious issues, one can clearly recognize the persistent and concerted efforts to redefine and weaken the protections of the First Amendment. The First Amendment is not an afterthought in the U.S. Constitution; its historical significance should not be underestimated or forgotten. Three years after the Constitution came into effect, the framers added ten amendments to ensure the protection of individual rights for all citizens. The First Amendment includes arguably the most important constitutional principles necessary to maintaining our democratic form of government.
I’m reminded of a commercial that shows individuals walking around with a paper-faced mask mounted on a stick and as they greet others, they hold the mask up to hide their real self. Often, because of our leadership roles, we are like that commercial. We greet others, shake their hands and make nice, but at times it is just be a facade of our true selves; how we feel; what we are going through or dealing with at the time.
Most people have had the experience of lack, in essence needing more of something than what is currently available. The issue that is very transparent is that most people have not studied the Word of God to learn how He desires to help those in need. What often happens when one is in need, their cries of help are not rooted in God’s promises and faith, rather it is just a call of desperation motivated by panic or fear. This type of action equates to as much faith as one who carries a rabbit’s foot or reading fortune cookies from a Chinese restaurant.