Why did people who participated in the riots across the country do it, what was their motive? How about those who participated in a demonstration, why did they do it? There were for sure a variety of motives, some very selfish and greedy and others with a very strong and sincere desire to have a positive influence in changing racism. The question that zealots ought to ask is, ”what works?” what actually moves things in our culture in a positive direction. In 5 years from now will there be positive difference in the level of racism in our country because of the riots and demonstrations that have taken place in the last two weeks? Demonstrating and rioting just to “make a statement” is a colossal waste of time, energy, money, life, and often actually moves things in a negative direction. True leaders, those who are the most powerful and effective change agents ask the question constantly, ”what works?” They are true leaders because they are not concerned with just making noise, but in producing lasting change, so they ask, ”What works”? Just making noise without actually changing anything is one of the Biblical definitions of a fool. Most of the “noise makers” we have seen in the news in the last two weeks aren’t really driven by the desire to change injustice, though they are certainly inflamed by the injustice, they are being driven by the selfish desire to be noticed, their involvement in a “cause” is driven by the selfish desire to bolster their own sense of worth and value by their involvement in a noble cause. What really makes them fools is that they are totally ignorant of their own motives.
True leaders have a “mindset”, that is a way of thinking that is different then most other people’s. They think, “what works”, what changes things, what influences the behavior of others, what persuades others to change? Their thinking is generally free from ego gratification, being genuinely concerned about the well being of others. They have the attitude of Jesus described in Philippians 2:5-7 ”Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself.”
So, what does work, really work, in making lasting change?