It’s Got To Stop!


By: Rev. J. Loren Russell, BA, MDiv.


SCRIPT: James 1:12-15 (NKLJV)

12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote “It’s Got to Stop!” but never published it. I wrote in response to the mass killing in Orlando, Florida, where Omar Mateen murdered 49 and injured another 53, and the shooting of Jessica White, a mother of three who was shot and killed protecting her children. Now, we have heard of three killings of Black men by police officers: Delrawn Small in Brooklyn, Alton Sterling in New Orleans, and Philando Castile in Minnesota, and the killing of 5 police officers in Dallas, Texas by a Black man, Micah Xavier Johnson. None of these horrific incidents happened on battle fields thousands of miles away.  They all happened right here on our streets. What I began a few weeks ago is now more relevant than ever. Fifty-eight people senselessly murdered in less than one month. It’s Got to Stop!

The Proverbs of the New Testament, the book of James, is a practical book that challenges us to take the initiative and make things happen; 22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only. James says that those of us who remain committed to the cause of righteousness will be blessed; “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”

We know that the Lord has the ultimate authority in our lives, but He has given us the ability, the capacity, and the opportunity to bring those blessings into our own lives.

The very opposite of those blessings is sin. Sin creates fear. Fear creates hate. Hate results in unimaginable acts that induce unbearable pain. Hate consumes the soul and hardens the heart. Hates makes you think that you won’t be able to acquire what you want, and if you do, somebody will come along and take it. Hate starts small and innocent, but eventually creates distrust, prejudice, and depraved indifference toward others; hate of people that are not like you. Hate is a cruel and diabolical task master, marked by intense hostility and aversion. We saw it in action all over the nation in the past few weeks.

While I agree with many that an all-out effort has and should be made to reduce the number of guns in the nation, I am just as adamant about the all-out effort to teach the minds and reach the hearts of people. We have to reach people and teach them to love and to value life, their own as well as the lives of others. Again, James challenges us and says: 22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

Every man, woman and child who knows better, must do better!

Dr. King once said, “We must all learn to live together as brothers or we will all perish together as fools.” We can surely get to a true worldwide brotherhood when every individual is concerned about every other individual; when life is respected and cherished; when we love and esteem others better than ourselves; when we enrich the lives of others by sharing what we have with them; when drugs, alcohol, and other mind-altering substances, even morally wrong behavior are no longer desired; when people know that their life and the lives of others matter. That’s when we will overcome! That’s when this will stop!

Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell is President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial Consulting, an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx, hosts “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Soul 1 Radio (internet), Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM., or by phone at 626-226-1448. Join him at Grace Gospel Church 589 E. 146 St., Bx, NY 10456 on Sunday, July 10 at 11:00 AM.


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