What To Do When You Disagree
If you are anything like me, you are probably growing just a little tired of hearing about how crazy 2020 has been and how we have not even gotten to the election yet! This is not to say we are callous toward hearing testimonies of God’s goodness or lament over broken heartedness. The fatigue seems more to reflect a relentless call to believers to yield to God, who hopefully has our attention because of “how crazy 2020 has been!” With the entirety of creation at God’s disposal to get our attention, He’s likely allowed you to have at least one difficult conversation where you thought someone wasn’t honoring God, and it might’ve even been you! In a world where opinions can feel like truth and feelings can parade themselves as fact, we need to hear from God with direction for our character and conduct.
This particular post’s primary intention is to explore how we can love and show kindness to others, especially in the midst of blatantly differing political views. As we continue toward the presidential election of 2020, I pray that your eyes will be open to God’s great plan of redemption and restoration for humanity, as well as His making all things new. When we fix our eyes on the Lord Jesus Christ, only then can we have an appropriate vision of anything (or anyone) else, as He is the only one who sees without mediation (Col. 1:15–17). Let us dive in…
This will not attempt to be an exhaustive covering of the topic, but merely a cursory covering of some thoughts that might help us to show love and kindness toward others in this political season. If you belong to Jesus, I know your heart desires to see all things made new by His hand. I also know how frustrating it can be when that does not appear to be happening, even more so when it seems that things are moving in the opposite direction. If we are paying attention, we need a few reminders that we live in a fallen world. This fallen world we live in needs Jesus and His Bride to shine brightly. That means you and me!
We can love and show kindness to others, especially in the midst of blatantly differing political views
As we so commonly hear during political seasons, “it’s all about issues and values.” So, over the next few paragraphs, we will highlight an issue and a value that ought to shape our view of all things (even presidential elections and those who disagree with us!).
An Issue: Pastor and Author Scott Sauls said in a talk that the Christian is to be “Comprehensively Pro-Life.” That means that we are to advocate for all created in God’s image (everyone), from conception to death. As believers, we know that the greatest form of human flourishing is a life fully surrendered to Jesus Christ. If we attempt to evaluate every political issue and every controversial conversation this season through the lens of a “comprehensively pro-life” stance, what might change? Would we view rural and urban Americans (by birth or by immigration) in a new way? Would we view republicans and democrats with fresh eyes? Would our view of our Father in Heaven be transformed as we extend the mercy we have experientially received? Is it possible that we have elevated lesser “issues” over the issue God sent His Son to die for?
A Value: My colloquial definition of value is “something that has been determined by origination and purchase price.” Utilizing that definition of value, what is more valuable than human beings? Created in God’s image and purchased by the precious blood of Jesus Christ, that is worth a lot to me. How about you? When we view others through this lens, that “values” we ascribe to ought to diminish slightly compared to the value we possess. Yes, even those who disagree with you! Again, this statement is not to discourage you from having political opinions and convictions or to dissuade you from involvement. It merely is meant to shine a light on what God has deemed most valuable to Him. When we re-orient to the Father, we’re able to see that while other things like public policy, homeowner’s rights, and commercial goods aren’t inherently bad, they should never become more valuable to us than human beings.
Many of us (re)learned these truths a few weeks ago in Woodside’s sermon series “Unshakeable: Steadfast Hope in an Unpredictable World.” As we examined the first two chapters in Peter’s first epistle, he skillfully and powerfully addressed establishing our identity as believers and how that ought to inform our behavior and ministry as believers. With the highlighted Issue and Value in mind, take a moment to read 1 Peter 2:10–12:
“Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.”
Please know that we are praying for you as you read this and would love to hear stories of victory, love, and kindness flooding the responses to this blog! Be encouraged as you traverse these trying times!