Political Fallout~

 

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As Americans we have been blessed to have the freedom to choose our government leadership based on our values and beliefs. We are so fortunate to have this right. However, the politics in this season of the United States have become divisive, angry, and relationally polarizing.   My heart is so sad when I see people behaving so hatefully with one another.

Yes, there are a lot of key issues that create concern and angst in us all; treatment of women, North Korea, a huge polarization between the Democrats and Republicans making it difficult to come to collaborative decision-making to name a few. It can surely be infuriating!

My biggest concern, however, is how people; friends and family members are treating one another. Relationships are being wounded by harmful words and indictments, accusations, and resentment between those who identify more with the Left or those who identify more with the Right ~this is the worst part of the fallout!

Our pastor has been teaching on how to radically love one another; that we can disagree and still love and respect one another! I believe this can be done; especially among those who are Christ followers.   At our core we all want to feel safe, experience peace, be free to have our own thoughts and opinions, to be respected, and to be treated with dignity, ALL of us do no matter how we vote.

Presidents will change, politics will ebb and flow, but the harm done in relationships over our differences will be challenging to repair. Consider whether you have allowed politics to harm relationships that matter to you; can we agree to disagree and still love one another?

 

1 Corinthians 13 The Message (MSG)

The Way of Love

13 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.

If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.

3-7 If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

       Let’s choose love.

How, then, Shall We Respond?

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It’s been a challenging season for the United States.

Political unrest, upsurge in racial violence, and random attacks have caused fear and anger all across the land.   People distrusting one another,  speaking poorly of one another, and vicious verbage on Twitter and other social media.  Fear abounds.

Yesterday, waiting in a long line at the Post Office, I had a chance to listen to the numerous conversations around me.  People were irritable, frustrated, critical, and even unkind. I was sad to “hear’ the anger in their voices. Anxiousness and fear abounds.

My dear friend and writer Alisa Nicuad puts it this way in her blog

“3 Ways to Overcome Fear”:

Disaster. Shootings. Deadly diseases.

Every day in the news we hear of lurking threats that could have the potential to strike fear in our hearts. We fear for our country, ourselves and our children. The path our world is headed leaves us vulnerable to anxiety and fear. It’s not just my opinion. It’s a fact.

The National Center for Health Statistics released a report in 2011 stating that 1 in 10 Americans age 12 and older are taking some sort of antidepressant. This is an increase of 400% in a 10 year period (1988-2008). It is now the 3rd most prescribed medication in our country.

Why do I mention that?

Because it’s clear we are having a hard time dealing with the world we live in. Our minds have difficulty dealing with all the tragedy and instabilities. So what can we do?

How, then, should we respond?

There is something called “righteous anger” that fuels us to take a stand for things that matter, to stand for what it good and right.  However, rage and anger only causes dissention, reaction, offenses, and the inability to reason or work together. Fear is often at the core of anger.

What if we chose kindness?

What if we chose to understand? What if we chose proactive behaviour? What if we linked arms to find a way to work together?  What if this was the churches finest hour?  What if we chose grace rather than anger?  What if?……..

If Christ is our example we can see that He “drew” people to Him.  He showed such restraint and grace while believing that troubled people, finding Him, could and would experience peace and real change!  Can we also believe that as we show grace and kindness that other’s might see that same spirit in us during this time of turmoil?

How, then, shall we respond?

Ask yourself. I am asking myself too.