My profession is one that requires thick skin. Politics. Insults are hurled, names are called and facts are more often than not – twisted and gnarled. In a world that is fallen and not our own, I guess this should be expected. I have learned to lean not on my own understanding and in all my ways acknowledge him and he will direct my paths.
Yes – God is at work in you and he will not (never ever) forsake you. Yet, reading insults are hard (even if they are not about you). They eat at your core and your spirit. They create a heavy heart and disappointment.
I am a firm believer in encouragement – that we need to build each other up in love (1 Thessalonians 5: 11-12). Why aren’t we doing this more often – in politics and personal lives?
Everyone is going to disagree. We all were formed with different, diverse minds. And, thank God for that! Like 1 Corinthians says, we all cannot be the ear of the body – we have to have arms, eyes and knees to make everything work in a cohesive pattern in the Body of Christ. So debate is not what I am talking about when I mention insults. I am talking about the bitter, biting personal attacks – ones that attack someone’s character without getting to know their soul.
As a conservative, I have seen it coming from the liberal side more often (merely because this is the pattern I observe regularly). But, we are all to blame. Whatever happened to the command, ‘Love one another as I have loved you?’ We certainly do not have to agree with someone to love them – and lift them up in prayer.
I point a finger back at myself writing this little post. I have been guilty of this thought process to accuse those that are not like you. However, novel thought, instead of condemning them, why don’t we lift the accused in our minds up in prayer to God the Father? Pray for those who persecute you that is a Biblical promise.
Jesus displayed this best, when he uttered on the bloody cross: Father forgive them for they know not what they do. He also famously said – those without sin, cast the first stone.
My knuckles have been white a time or two from clutching onto that shameful stone of accusation. But, it’s time to drop those rocks of callousness and embrace each other.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating skipping together hand-in-hand and disappearing into a delusional rainbow of peace and love. 1 Thessalonians also says to abstain from every evil. Yet, it also notes, do not repay evil for evil.
To take from a famous song, ‘what the world needs now is love sweet love.’ And what better way to display love Jesus’ way – because he is love. How absolutely breathtaking to act out his love with our words spoken to one another.
A challenge to myself this week will be – to speak love through my actions and deeds. Life is too short to spew hatred and vile comments to one another, whether you stand in accordance with that person or not.
I love the children’s song which goes, ‘God is still working on me to make me what I ought to be.’ The King is at work in hearts and minds across the globe. He is not dead. Let’s choose to be the face of Jesus who allowed Mary, a sinner, to douse his feet with oils and her tears. He did not recount her sins to the world or hurl insults her way, he forgave her completely in love.