Last week I wrote about the importance of history and of love. Two seemingly very disconnected subjects.
It is human nature to feel that what we are experiencing is worse than anyone else has ever experienced.
I remember when I was growing up and I would be with my mother and a group of her friends and how they would try to ‘best’ each other with their ailments. One would have had a stomach ache and another one would have had one worse.
The same was true with anything they were doing or had experienced. If one had a flat tire, the other had two flat tires. This often made me ponder, even as a child, why do we strive to have more tragedy than the others.
Today, we might agree that what happened centuries ago was horrible, but what we are going through is much much worse. We are convinced of this very thing.
Believing that somehow gives us a license to lash out in anyway that gives us a modicum of relief. We think nothing of engaging in petty arguments online in a defensive posture to validate our own opinions and to vilify another’s.
2 Timothy 2:22-24
22) Now flee from youthful lusts and purse righteousness, faith, love, and peace with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 23 But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels. 24 The Lord’s bondservant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, skillful in teaching, patient when wronged.
Our urge to speak our piece and drive our opinions down another’s throat only serves to burn bridges and has never ever served to change another person's mind. If you genuinely want to present a case for your opinion to another in the hope that they will learn and that it will change their mind, then it must be done in a respectful and diplomatic way.
No matter what the argument is about, if you want to really build a bridge where each side can meet in the middle and maturely discuss the issue, then we have to learn to love them.
But we don’t - love them, that is. We hold disdain and we loathe them. So, we resort to childish name calling and pithy remarks to cut them low and make fun of them. And many may read this post and retort that ‘they deserve it’.
Do they really? And have we been chosen to demean others, cut them low, because we perceive their opinion or belief about something is wrong? We feel so cocky that we are right in our own opinions and life choices that we feel we have the right to spew verbal accusations that only serve to frustrate us further.
There is a time for genuine debate and discussion. However, if we burn so many bridges that no one with an adverse voice to ours will listen, what have we gained?
This topic is something that has burned within me for a long time. I began to feel Holy Spirit conviction a long time ago about this. We have a greater mission than just getting our chosen political official elected, even though that often is a very critical part of our mission here, but it isn’t our most important one.
We have a mandate from God to love and in that love tell others about the Good News. The Good News that Jesus has died for our sins and that everyone is loved and accepted by Him.
1 John 4:7-12
7) Beloved, let’s love one another; for love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8) The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9) By this the love of God was revealed in us, that God has sent His only Son into the world so that we may live through Him. 10) In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11) Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12) No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God remains in us, and His love is perfected in us.
It is not our mission to change them or their lifestyles. That is up to Holy Spirit. We are to build the bridge with love, deliver the message lovingly, then once they see who Jesus is and accept what He has done for them, Holy Spirit will convict their sin as He does ours, and then He will begin to transform them, as He is doing for us.
Our message of hope in the one true living/loving God will never be accepted if we are angry and vindictive in our language and actions. If we reserve our love and kindness to those we agree with then we are immature in the faith.
We should never ever feel threatened by another opinion that we feel is wrong. We should be so rooted and grounded in our own belief of the gospel that those adverse voices and opinions don’t faze us, but only cause us to have a greater compassion and a desire to pray for them in the isolation of our prayer closet where no one will ever know, but God.
If we were to take one person in our own life with an adverse voice each week and pray for them fervently, then in one year we will have prayed for 52 people with adverse voices and opinions. And maybe, just maybe we will see true change in them, and in us too.
I want to encourage you to leave me any comments below. They are so encouraging and motivating to me.
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