There’s been many times I have sat down to write and my words have come out harsh, disagreeable, and, admittedly, quite the opposite of the message I knew that God wanted me to share.
I’ve prayed over how to discuss the political climate of our nation (USA, for those reading elsewhere) for months now and it’s taken me this long to find the words. Mostly because I don’t want to add to the divisiveness that has been continuing to grow day in and day out, but rather to unify each other in our love for what is true, and just, that being Jesus.
One thing I have noticed, just by sitting back and watching, is that both sides of the political fence have found ways to justify their behavior, their admiration of a candidate, and their positions based off of the bible. Both conservatives and liberals have used scripture to back up their claims and support their arguments, and dare I say, agendas. Both have claimed that their candidate is doing what is biblical and what is right.
Another thing I’ve noticed is that once someone has made up their mind about those things, it’s incredibly difficult to have an open conversation about it, let alone change their mind. Especially online.
But, here’s where this is dangerous.Embed from Getty Images
We often tend to take scripture out of its context, to justify our current and present situation. Yes, the Bible is a living and breathing document. The Bible is just as relevant today as it was yesterday, and two thousand years ago. God knew we’d be faced with such a time as this and the Bible is the sword (Ephesians 6:17) we will be able to use in battle against the evil and wicked spirits we are at war with.
But that’s just the thing. We have forgotten that our war is not with flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12). We’ve forgotten that we don’t need to agree with our neighbor to love them. We’ve forgotten that loving our neighbors, loving our enemies even, is one of God’s greatest commands (Matthew 22:39). Jesus tells us “love your neighbor as yourself” and that is the second greatest commandment of God. Second only to loving God with all your heart, soul, and mind.
When we are name calling, destroying property, cancelling people, and being just plain cruel to one another, we are not being examples of Christ to this broken and dying world.
I have struggled with being ashamed of what I see people doing “in the name of Jesus”. Not just in our present society, but throughout history. When people promote violence, division, and destruction “in the name of Jesus” it is blasphemy, and it is evil. It is in direct opposition to the message Jesus came to earth to share.
Jesus, God in the flesh, Immanuel, Prince of Peace, God with us, came to share a message of grace, sacrificial love, servitude, mercy, and justice. God is so far above our understanding because it can be incredibly hard in our human flesh to understand a being who is fully just, while also being full of grace and mercy. It’s not something that’s easy for us to do. It’s incredibly difficult to understand, and without Jesus, it’s impossible for us to do on our own.Embed from Getty Images
When Jesus sees his children fighting, it is painful. It hurts just as much as it would hurt you to see your children fight, only more, because He is God. God wants us to remember that we are not each other’s enemy. We are His children, that He came to earth and lived a sinless life only to die a sinner’s death to save. He died for us, you and me, us. That’s huge. He does not want us fighting, name calling, killing, and dehumanizing one another.
We need to remember that our neighbors, even when they disagree with us, are not our enemy. We do have an enemy, and his name is Satan. God’s Word says he is a thief who comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10) everything in his path. Satan would love nothing more than to see nations fall, people dying, people sinning, hating, and hurting one another as well as God’s creation. When we fall into these temptations, we’re doing exactly what he wants. We are falling into the sin traps laid out before us.
But, when we choose to, instead, love our neighbor we disagree with… When we choose to, instead, listen to understand and not to reply… When we choose to, instead, show grace and mercy when we are wronged… It is then that we are doing not only the hard thing, but the holy thing. We are living out Jesus’ example in our homes, our neighborhoods, our nations.
My sweet sister, I charge you today to show more mercy, to love harder, to give more grace, to do better, in the name of Jesus.