Why do young people join gangs? One of the primary reasons is a search for acceptance and companionship. In a nutshell, they are in an agonizing search for love. There is an extreme desire to be treated with dignity. And this is true all up and down the economic scale. It is true among all racial and religious groups. It is true for all ages. And it is true for both male and female. Why this search for love and dignity?
Have we forgotten what love is all about? Yes we have. Jesus said, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39). But what does it mean? John, the apostle of love, tells us. Listen: “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments” (1 John 5:3). You see, real love is tied to the Ten Commandments. Let me explain.
The Fifth Commandment says, “Honor your father and mother.” So when we obey our parents, we love them. The Sixth Commandment says, “You shall not commit murder.” And so when we do all we can to preserve human life, we are acting in love. The Eighth Commandment says, “You shall not steal.” So, when we protect the property of others, we are loving them. And the Ninth Commandment says, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” This means when we refuse to gossip about others but protect their name, we are loving them. These are the attributes of love. They may be old fashioned because they reflect God’s Ten Commandments. But contrary to popular opinion, “His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 3:5).
And people everywhere, including kids involved in street gangs, are longing for this kind of love. To help you understand this, please click here and listen to “An Old Commandment Made New.”