When considering what makes trouble relative, we can take dual thought of today’s article. “Good Trouble!” was coined by John Robert Lewis, an American politician, statesman, and civil rights activist who served in the United States House of Representatives for Georgia’s 5th Congressional District from 1987 until his death in 2020. In essence, Good Trouble intentions are fighting for a cause such as injustice or inequality. Good Trouble for Lewis, I believe, meant giving his all for the benefits of a better society.
Trouble in a very real sense is not good, but those who may cause oppression, injustice and inequality may not believe their actions can cause trouble for others. On the contrary, actions have consequences. However, a more in depth look into Good Trouble or trouble can be found in the words of Jeremiah 17:9-10 which says, “The heart is more deceitful than anything. It is incurable, who can know it? 10 I am the Lord who searches the heart, who tests the inner depths
to give to each person according to what he deserves, according to the fruit of his deeds” (CIB).
So, trouble comes from the heart and the fruit of trouble is manifested in the actions and deeds of humanity. Each Tuesday Bishop Thomas shares with our Zion “Good Trouble Tuesday,” which is a time to examine Biblical and Theological truths about social issues. We are living in a society when wrong seems right and right seems wrong. The church must not be confused about its mission and what’s right in the sight of God. The church must call to question leaders who throw a rock and hide their hand. If we celebrate the rock throwers, we align ourselves with them.
When asked the question,” Who threw that rock?” it is often the one who hides their hand and deflects to explain away or deny that a rock was thrown. The church can ill afford to remain silent. We must remind ourselves that it is not what happens to us but how we respond to what happens that builds character. Was Jesus a troublemaker? Well, Jesus certainly did go against the grain of politics in his day.
Yes, Good Trouble is needed in society, our homes, schools, churches, businesses, and communities. The kind of Good Trouble that exposes injustice. Whatever God has you doing for the body of Christ, do not be a rock thrower, but a rock collector, especially when they are thrown at you. We can collectively save them to build a better present and future. Yes, there has been trouble in our country. Yes, it is a double standard, but whose report will you believe?
It could be said that our ancestors started Good Trouble in 1870 and while others were throwing rocks, they collected them and built the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. Let us move forward by prayer and with faith collecting rocks thrown at us and get in Good trouble.
We are, The Christian Methodist Episcopal Church recognizing the importance of Christ in our daily lives.
Leon C. Moore, Jr.
General Secretary of Evangelism and Missions
Pleasant Hill CME, Pastor. Conyers, GA