I. Upstanding requires a strong grip on one's beliefs. You can't stand up for something you don't believe in. At least, not very well.
II. Upstanding needs a driven mindset. No weapon other than your voice and a Bible.
III. Upstanding demands a powerful message. Not a violent one. Not a "my truth" message, but a "His Truth" message. One that states: "This is wrong and here's why:"
IV. Upstanding desires to be selfish. It craves attention and lacks any sort of propriety. Humility is out the door and anger and forcefulness are it's new roommates. Upstanding can be deadly if not self-controlled. How can you expect others to hear your cry if you don't listen to the cryings of others?
V. But upstanding coupled with strength, humility, honesty, and patience, can be the most admirable kind.
Fiction with a meaning. She stopped, jaw-dropping as the headline played over the top of the screen: Crowds cry: Defund the Police! Shaky, amateur videos played out the events of last night. Hundreds of protestors rolled flaming dumpsters and threw glass bottles at a group of officers. The men and women in blue stood blocking the Police station with their full-body Police shields before them to ward off the coming attacks. The mob of protestors pressed on without mercy, yelling profanities and chucking beer bottle bombs. The recording perfectly captured a bottle smashing into a Police officer's helmet, shattering glass all over her. As the force of it pushed her back, the cameraman cheered, and rioters surged through the opened gap.
Her eyes remained glued to the screen until the news reporter flashed back. She ripped her gaze away to stare at her mother sitting at the kitchen table behind her.
"Drew," Mom whispered, standing up and rushing to the small home phone on the counter. She punched in the police station's number and whipped it up to her ear.
The girl's heart leapt into her throat. Dad was out there! Is that why he hasn't come home yet? "God please," she gazed back at the TV screen, which was now playing another iPhone clip of the rioters throwing flaming cans into the station windows.
Fights broke out.
Tear-gas. Glass bottles.
A new headline flashed below it: "Peaceful protesters standing up for their truth."
She took a shaky breath. "Please, God, save my dad...
"And help me to stop this madness."
The girl snatched a piece of cardboard from the garage and scribbled some words onto it with a black sharpie.
"FUND THE POLICE"
"Where are you going?" Mom set the phone down and stared at her.
"I'm going to protest down at the station," she said stiffly.
Mom grabbed her keys and a few granola bars. She walked over to her daughter quickly. "I'm coming too. Let's stop by the pizza place on the way there. I bet dad and his coworkers are hungry."
"So dad's okay?" she asked quickly as the two stepped out the door, the girl clutching the sign with both hands.
One of the most challenging things about upstanding is facing persecution. It says in the Bible that Christians will face it undoubtedly. I am ready for it.
Upstand is possible without tearing others down.
What does it take? Make a list of five points, answering: What does it take to be an upstander? What qualities or mindsets does “upstanding” require?
Take action. In 200 words or fewer, answer: What actions can you take as an upstander? When you encounter injustice, what can you do to challenge or counteract it? How can you use your voice in different forms? (writing, speaking, singing, art, etc.)
OPTIONAL: Speak your heart. What do you find most challenging about being an upstander? What factors might preclude your choosing to act as an upstander in the face of injustice? What can you do to resist or conquer those challenges?