Disclaimer: My thoughts on this post all came from a sermon I heard this past Sunday. Guess that this post might be considered plagiarism. Since the minister that spoke is my daughter, hopefully she will forgive me for stealing her thoughts.
She spoke of our need for God’s grace not just at the moment we realize we need a savior but each day as we rely on God’s grace – it is an ongoing way of life. Knowing we have received grace, we need to pass that grace on to others in our life.
The meaning of grace could call for a deep and long theological dissertation – but I’m not qualified for that. For my post, I’m just using a simple definition – again not my own but one I have heard hundreds of time when someone tries to define what we mean by grace.
G — God’s
R – riches
A – at
C – Christ’s
E – expense
God’s favor toward the unworthy
God’s benevolence on the undeserving
Grace is what God is all about. Because of His grace, we are forgiven – not based on anything we have done, but simply on His love and mercy. And, because we have received grace, we are to pass that same grace – that same love and mercy – to others.
But here is where I find a big problem among my Christian friends today. We are living in a very divided country right now.
- Left vs right
- liberal vs conservative
- Democrat vs Republican
- pro-choice vs pro-life
- against a wall vs for a wall
- restriction on gun rights vs gun rights advocates
And the list could go on and on.
As Christians we have every right to speak out on our own opinions, to speak out for truth and against things that are totally outside God’s Word.
BUT….while we can and should speak out for the truth, we need to remember that those we disagree with, those who we strongly feel are wrong, are people who God loves, people that God died for. People that need to know God’s love and mercy in their own lives.
Remember the verse we all learned early in life:
For God so loved the WORLD that He gave His only begotten son….
That means God loves:
- all the NFL players who take a knee during the National Anthem, including Colin Kaepernick
- all the crazy Democrats, including Nancy Pelosi
- all the pro-choice activists, including Cecile Richards
Do we speak out against their beliefs, their actions? Certainly we have that right and maybe in some cases even that responsibility.
But when we speak out against them personally, call them names, say we don’t care about them, I think we have crossed the line as Christians. No longer seeing them as people who need to know God’s love, but as “enemies.” We dehumanize them. We refuse to extend love and mercy.
Jesus told us:
You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.
So, I ask my Christian friends:
When was the last time you prayed for those who you disagree with?
When was the last time you bent your knee and prayed for your enemies?
We hear a lot of calls to pray for President Trump – and we should. But where are the calls to play for those we disagree with? Don’t they need God too?
Just as we don’t deserve God’s forgiveness, someone you know may not deserve yours. It doesn’t matter: We are still commanded to forgive them.