I am not a theologian. I am not a bible scholar, preacher, pastor, expert or teacher. I am just a girl who has seen God show up BIG in her life. I am a girl who has been changed and who recklessly and unashamedly seeks the heart of Jesus. I am a girl who has learned to listen for the whisper of His voice on my spirit.
It is 4 a.m. My heart is heavy and I hear His whisper.
My heart is heavy because I have absorbed into my being all of the “words” flying around social media, conversations, and the news media right now. Words are important to me, they always have been and I am deeply affected by what people say and what I read.
Do you know how your words affect people? Do we as Christians know how our words affect people?
What picture do our words paint for a hurting and broken world? For a hurting and broken country? Are we painting a picture of judgment, condemnation, fear, a lack of compassion, understanding and hope?
A picture of hell-fire and brimstone?
This is certainly the picture I have seen a great deal of as of late and is the picture that has put such a burden on my heart.
“One Nation, under God, indivisible …”
Indivisible. Yet here we are, completely divided. We have no dialogue, only angry and critical rhetoric. We allow the twisting of facts and the truth (on both sides) to cloud our judgment, form our opinions and further divide us. Our desire to be right and our belief that the sin of another is worse than our own inflames us, strips us of grace and ultimately leaves us bitter and unwilling to hear anything but our own pride and self-righteousness.
What happened to speaking the truth in love? Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of Him who is the head, that is Christ. – Ephesians 4:15
Have we fallen so far? Does our hope truly rest in a political party? In the results of an election? In one man?
What happened to having faith? God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. – Psalm 46:1-3
What happened to believing God is in control? “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
The wise and wonderful woman who married my husband’s cousin posted this on Facebook a few days ago; “I’ve remained completely silent on all the political rhetoric on FB until today … and now, I have to comment. My sweet mother used to say ‘You’re the only bible some people will ever read’. The ugly comments made by some Christian adults on FB this a.m. make me angry … I’ve seen two posts by young adults that give me more hope for their generation than ours. Thank you, for your maturity and respectful opinions. The people have spoken, the race was close … now, let’s be the bible we WANT people to read … treating other’s opinion with grace and PRAYING for our leaders.”
May we as Christians remember that God calls us to be light in dark places, that we may give others the opportunity to see Him reflected in us – in our actions and in our words. No one will receive a true picture of Christ when we shout at them that they are an “abomination to God” or that our nation is now damned because of the vote they just cast. No one will be drawn to the kingdom of God by judgmental and fearful rantings.
Respect for another’s opinion does not mean you agree with them. It means you have grace. Speak the truth in love. Better yet, demonstrate the truth in the way you live.
I have struggled to manage my own tongue and with my own prideful, self-righteous, judgmental and opinionated nature. As I deepen my walk with God and seek His will in my life, He continues to reveal to me that which needs to change in order for me to grow. I am so thankful that He did not leave me where I was. Trust me friends, if you are speaking with a hard heart, even if you are speaking truth, it will sound like judgement and condemnation and it will fall on deaf ears.
A sweet 14-year-old I know, with wisdom beyond her years, posted this “although I didn’t like the election results, I still respect everyone’s opinion. And besides there’s no need to worry because we are in God’s hands. God has a plan for our country and I trust Him to lead and help us through anything.”
Did you hear what she said? “I trust Him”
Believe that God is who He says He is.
Seek Him in all things.
Love others as He first loved you.
Remember that judgement IS NOT YOURS.
Live in the freedom that His son paid the ultimate price for and not in a spirit of fear.
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but He has given us a spirit of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and self-discipline and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7
Find hope in remembering that we serve a loving and mighty God.
He is worthy. He is in control. He loves you.
Pray. Pray for faith, for wisdom, for our church, for our nation. Pray for our leaders.
“I urge supplications, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior.” – 1 Timothy 2:1-3
Show a little grace.
Only then will the healing and recovery begin. Only then will we again be “One Nation, Under GOD, indivisible …”