All of us are distraught about events that transpired last Wednesday in our nation’s capital and in the Capitol itself. It’s difficult to process it all. As if we needed one more crisis!
We are a divided country. Mistrust and misinformation fuel the hatred. One commentator said that we had more in common during the Civil War than we do today. Left unchecked, we will continue down this path of division and things will get worse. Here’s a list of destructive behaviors:
- We consider violence an acceptable form of protest.
- We divide the world in two and insist that our side lives up to its ideals while everyone else is the worst.
- We replace serious debate and persuasive talk with name-calling, insult, ridicule, and the like.
- We demonize people with whom we disagree.
- We use outrage as our default tone in our communication.
- We double down and talk louder and over others.
So what can be done? Now what? Three words that every Christian can apply to help bring healing to our country:
Humility begins with our relationship with God. The Bible says that “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble…humble yourselves before the Lord and He will lift you up” (James 4:6,10).
God needs to be God in our lives, not another person or political party. Sadly, many have made our government their idol. Glenn Packiam says, “An idol is something I am ultimately counting on to bring me security or safety, comfort or peace, value or worth, prosperity or immortality but cannot deliver on that promise.”
As believers, we need to humble ourselves and repent. We need to put our focus on the kingdom of God, not the kingdom of this world. Our ultimate hope in life is not found in an elected leader, but an eternal God.
Civility means dialing back the tone, assuming the best of intentions, asking questions and listening. It also means (to paraphrase the writers of Uncommon Ground: Living Faithfully in a World of Difference) refusing to overidentify with any particular politician, platform, or politician.
We need to dialogue with each other, not demonize each other. That is why censorship will never work. Freedom of speech is not just a right, but an opportunity to listen and learn from one another.
On January 20, President-elect Joe Biden will become the 46th President of the United States. I’ve been told that every election has some fraud and cheating (or at least attempts to do so). This has to be stopped and we must work towards a more fair and trustworthy election process. But our current reality is that Biden has won the election based on each States’ certified electoral college votes. To promote anything else goes against our constitution. It is time for us to accept the election and support a smooth transition of power.
Paul wrote Timothy these inspired words, “I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth” (1 Timothy 2:1-4 NLT).
BEFORE YOU GO
They say this is the age of doubling down. If that is true, then let’s double down on these three things: humility, civility, and unity. As a help, remind yourself that every person you engage with is someone for whom Jesus died.