I see a lot of disturbing words on social media, a lot of arguments reduced to name calling. Reasoned discussion is abandoned for argumentum ad hominem, personal attacks.
Rather than listening to opposing views, we vilify our presumed opponents with generalizations and broad-sweeping, hurtful words.
Can we not have enough respect for those with whom we disagree to let them speak, to let them breathe, to let them have a voice, even a hostile, bitter voice?
To my Christian friends, when times seems distressing, we often pluck the verse that says “If my people, who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and heal their land.” The verse is not a pointing finger at the world around us. It is the three other fingers of our closed hand pointing back at us.
Uncurl those fingers, relax your pointer, fold your hands together, bow your head and pray for your own shortcomings and seek His face. Set your mind on things above where Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father, seated because His redeeming work is done.
Let go of anger, rage, malice, slander, and harsh language. We are all the same in Christ. Let people see compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
Forgive. Even when it hurts. As Jesus forgave you.
Let the peace which defies understanding occupy the throne of your thoughts. Let the words of Jesus live in you, through you, and do everything you do for Him, then it will be impossible for you to nurture ill thoughts toward others.
People are not your enemy.
To my non-Christian friends, Christians may not always represent the servant’s heart of their Savior, but they are not your enemy. Try to look past their judgments and see the brokenness.
To all of us. Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and super slow to become angry.
And when you are angry, direct it toward the idea instead of the person.
We are all the same.
Flawed. Broken. Vulnerable.