God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.
Those words are from Jesus as He spoke to the crowds about what it meant to be a part of the kingdom of God.
Where are the peace makers?
We are so divided as a nation today. So many divisions.
- Democrat vs. Republican
- liberal vs conservative
- Trump is “God’s Anointed” vs Trump is evil
- CNN’s version of news vs Fox’s version
- pro-abortion vs. pro-life
- “We need more gun control” vs. “You ain’t taking my gun!”
These divisions in and of themselves are not wrong. That has been one of the more amazing benefits of being an American. Freedom to think – and to speak – as you feel. May that freedom always be.
But over the past few years there has entered a very ugly element in our conversations.
Growing up in the America of the 50’s and 60’s it seemed to me when people disagreed the attitude toward the other party was basically ‘ “you are wrong, you don’t have all the facts, your logic is faulty .” But there remained an element of respect for the person with the different opinion.
Today it seems when two sides disagree there is no debate on the reasoning behind the different opinions. There is no trying to understand where the other person is coming from.
The answer to disagreement now is to call the other person names. Names that imply the other person is stupid – or even worse – evil.
I grant you when I find myself debating an issue with someone sometimes that thought of “stupid” or “evil” does enter my mind also.
But what bothers me is how Christians are falling prey to that temptation to call those with whom they disagree names and belittle them instead of debating the actual issues.
I see it so much on Facebook when a controversial post is made. How quickly the two sides end up not really debating the actual issue itself but saying the other person is “crazy” or “evil.”
What ever happened to the peace makers?
No matter what the “other side” does or says, as Christians we must remember who we claim to follow.
Years ago there was a saying “WWJD” (what would Jesus do). It got a little overused, but I wonder if we should not revive it.
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.
Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
In the volatile political season coming on us as we enter into the 2020 election, may I ask my fellow Christians please remember that Jesus said the sign of a true disciple was not which side of the political fence they walked, but rather was
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
By all means share your opinions, your ideas, vote as you please, but remember that Jesus died for liberals and conservatives. He loves Donald Trump and Nancy Pelosi both – as much as He loves you!