I can still vividly remember the scene…a distressed call would ring out, “Moooooom,” followed soon after by the appearance of one cherub only steps ahead of the other in frenzied pursuit. Then, the account would commence….”Mom, HE blah, ba blah, blah” or “Mom, SHE blah, ba blah, blah!” Four eyes would stare up at me; imploring me to pick a side.
It didn’t even matter who did what to whom…in the end, it was always my job to piece together the truth, which was usually waiting somewhere in the middle of “he said and she said.” In the end, it was my job to restore order and find a way for both sides to remember the love and move on.
For way too many months, we’ve listened as the two political parties have earnestly tried to persuade us to accept their side of the story as truth, the only truth and nothing but the truth. Yesterday, we were then given the opportunity to cast our ballots.
Election day has come and gone…now, it’s time to figure out how to come together in unity; to love one another as God commanded us to do and move on.
When it comes to people..imperfect, flawed people…every argument has two sides and the truth typically lies somewhere in the middle. We should take a moment of reflection whenever we get to the place where we wholeheartedly believe that one side’s entire account of events is the unvarnished truth.
Of course, when it comes to our faith, God’s truth is our one glorious exception! We can take him at his word and yes, we can pick a side!
You’ve read this far and now you’re thinking, “Is this it?” Come on Shellie, is this all you’ve got? My issues are God’s issues.
OK, I get that! So, let’s just take a moment to establish what God’s issues really are.
The two greatest commands are to love God and love your neighbor as yourself.
But, how can we possibly do that when we just aren’t feeling the love!? Thankfully, we have a secret weapon in this regard…the resident power of the Holy Spirit. It’s this supernatural power that sets us apart. It’s His love that compels us…
14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
Our natural inclination would be to circle the wagons with those who agree with our issues. That’s where we feel loved and validated. Why should we love people who don’t agree with us? The answer is both simple and simultaneously difficult to implement…we love them because Christ died for them!
God calls us to be salt and light in a dark world.
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
We as believers must get to the point where we acknowledge that our take on issues springs from the transformative work God has already done in our hearts. Consequently, touting our issues will never break through the darkness, but loving people who can’t see our side speaks in ways that rhetoric never will.
God has always called and enabled his people to love past their depth. It’s the compassionate, incomprehensible love of Christ that stops people in their tracks. It’s our love that breaks into dark places and draws people to a heart change, which in the end leads them to see their “issues” in a new way.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Regardless of who becomes president of the United States, God’s side is clear…we are ALL sinners in need of a savior. The defining difference, the one that’s closest to God’s heartbeat, is that some of us understand and live out this truth, while others have yet to hear it or realize it.
Hopefully, this is a side we can all agree on.