Kathleen Cooke is passionate about the Bible and has discovered there are huge benefits if you read it at least four times per week. According to the Center for Bible Engagement, you will make better choices, and make positive changes in your life. But there are lots more benefits. So is it any wonder that Kathleen has put together a biblical response to the #MeToo movement?
Kathleen writes: Will the problem of sexual harassment and abuse ever go away in Hollywood? Probably not. But if you’re wise, surrounded with support, and grounded in prayer and God’s Word you can not only survive, but thrive.
When I wrote my devotional book “Hope 4 Today: Staying Connected to God in a Distracted Culture,” I discovered that research studies confirm that if you read the Bible at least four times a week, your behavior actually changes. And in situations like a challenging career, you’ll have a better chance to fight off the arrows of a morally fallen world.
Selfishness and Injustice
In my podcast with Kathleen Cooke about the #MeToo movement, she talks about two huge human failings. One is Selfishness. And the other is Injustice. Critically, these are the dark realities which affect every person at some point in their lives.
(Check out the blog of the podcast: A Chat about #MeToo with Kathleen Cooke >>>)
Unfortunately, there are no easy answers to selfishness and injustice. The problem is systemic, and widespread. Kathleen mentions it’s too big for us to manage on our own. For healing and restoration, we all need a new way forward. Thankfully, God can give us the healing needed. And He can also provide a new outlook.
So, here is a biblical response to the #MeToo movement, according to Kathleen Cooke:
Let’s be Peacemakers, not Peacekeepers
In Matthew 5:9 Jesus talked about being a peacemaker.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
Jesus of Nazareth
A peacemaker is not the same as being a peacekeeper! A peacekeeper avoids conflict at any cost, like the United Nations Peacekeeper Forces. But as Rich Gorman writes in How to Be Peacemaker, “When Jesus said, ‘Blessed are the peacemakers,’ He was inviting us to an incredibly difficult and challenging process that starts in our hearts.”
This is where Christians are called to love, to bring peace, and joy, and life and long suffering, and all the fruits of the Spirit. Clearly, there is a big difference between being a peace peacemaker, and a peacekeeper.
In Romans 12, Paul says a few things about living at peace with people. As we consider a biblical response to the #MeToo movement, let’s explore those.
Three Steps to Living at Peace with Others
There are three concepts that can be healing, and give us some solid direction. Our response hinges on this thought: “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:18
1. First of all, admit we are all broken
We’ve all caused pain and suffering. Therefore, we’ve all caused other people injustice, and hurt others. The Bible says it this way: For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23
Also, Jesus talks about taking time to examine your own motives and inner objections, before criticizing others:
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”
When Jesus says to take the plank out of our eye, he means to quit talking about the speck in someone else’s eye. In other words we all need to admit that we’re all sinners, and that we’ve all hurt and damaged other people.
2. Secondly, forgive others
The second idea, as we move forward with a biblical response to the #MeToo movement, is to understand that forgiveness is what God calls us to do. Sometimes, forgiveness is very difficult for people when they’ve been abandoned and abused so many times, over and over again. And the only way we can forgive is by claiming the forgiveness offered to us by Jesus, by believing his death on the cross was the payment for our own wrongdoing.
Jesus was the only perfect person that walked the earth. Yet astoundingly, he suffered the death that we are owed for the wrong we have done. And God in his generosity and grace, takes that death of Jesus, as if it were our punishment. He forgives us. And likewise, we are called to forgive others.
Jesus, then, gives us the ability to forgive someone, to have that courage to do so. And to do it over and over again, sometimes, in order to find complete healing.
“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Paul the Apostle
The bottom line, it says, is “if it is possible”. In other words, as much as it depends on us, if it’s possible, we are to live in peace that we are to be a peacemaker, and not a peacekeeper.
As this verse says, live at peace with others – we’re to live in harmony. We’re to not be proud and conceited, and we’re not to repay an evil for an evil.
3. Thirdly, stand firm
And finally, we must stand. Stand in Jesus, live a life of peace, and let God, again, bring that retribution. The very next verses say this:
Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.
On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
If we are to be peacemakers, (not peacekeepers) then we’re not to keep score. Because God is the one who will make the final judgments. God is the one we need to look towards. He’s the one that will repay evil for what it is.
And we’re to stand with our heads held high, knowing that it was through Jesus’ death, and through his forgiveness, that we’re able to get through these difficult times. So this is how we get through the issues, and the struggles that we all have with injustice.
As a consequence, we become difficult for perpetrators, to live around. When we forgive and stand firm, they see us, and they see our joy. They see that we don’t hold grudges. That we’re not bitter. That we don’t hold resentment. That we are like “burning coals”, and it’s like we heap burning coals on their head. So, we’re to live at peace, and let God take care of the rest.
The Last Word from Paul
Let’s finish well as we choose to move past the difficulties we face. Paul had some great ways of expressing the best way to live. So finally, in our biblical response to the #MeToo movement, remember this:
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
What are you thoughts as Kathleen Cooke gives a biblical response to the #MeToo movement?
You are welcome to make comments, below.