Ouch. I didn’t pick a sneaky title, I just went straight for the jugular – I am talking about God and Government all in one fell swoop! Some people will see that title and ignore me. They won’t want to hear what I think about politics considering they are averse to anything of the sort (and that’s not really what I am writing about anyway). But those of you who decided to see what I have to say, sit back and let’s talk! After all, that’s what a blog is for, right – so we can engage in conversation that most people don’t really want to be part of but we insist on sharing our thoughts anyway!?
So here goes…
It all begins with grace. That’s it. Sorry to let you down. Especially those who know I have a tendency to get a little sassy when I talk about my opinions. That is not the direction I will take today. Today is more about saving relationships in this heated time we find ourselves in as a nation.
I have a friend. She and I have different moral matrices (according to ZDoggMd and Dr. John Haight *see video below) and hold differing views about God and Government. Despite our differences, we love one another and have had a friendship that has been forged by commonalities, life milestones (some heartbreaking, others exciting), and time. As of recent, we found ourselves in the midst of a conflict that revolved around the need to be understood, each by the other, the subject matter involving politics which we both feel very strongly about. After several minutes of back and forth, we had recognized we were at an impasse and needed to step away from the conversation. We said all we could say, and we were most likely only going to hurt one another more deeply if we didn’t step away. I have to admit, she made the first move to stop the conversation and allowed me the last word, for that I am grateful as I tend to fight to the end with every intention of reconciling, not necessarily winning.
This is probably a scenario many people face – especially during this season where so many of us have differing views about how things should be. There is no better time to operate out of that place of grace than right now. When engaging in conversation about God or Government & politics, everything must be seasoned with grace. I do believe that is what Jesus wanted. And we see it time and again in Paul’s letters to the churches of the New Testament. He always begins each letter bestowing the grace and peace of God through Christ Jesus before he delves into conversation.
So what does grace look like when it comes to God and Government:
Grace looks like stepping back from a conversation that has no real bearing on eternal destiny.
Grace looks like choosing words that do not cut or intentionally create anger. Only using words to uplift and edify. (ouch, I am preaching to the choir with my quick tongue – please forgive me)
Grace looks like being willing to see another person’s perspective and be ok if you don’t agree with their narrative.
Grace looks like understanding that people are searching for answers and calling them idiots because they do not have them is NOT the answer.
Grace looks like making an effort to understand your own views and not just touting a party line (remember we are talking about politics here) because it’s all you’ve ever known – ignorance is not bliss, it is lazy (and yes, I said that with as much gracefulness as I could muster – even Paul in his letters was intense in his debates to convince people that their ways were foolish – read our Galatians Devos to see him in action).
Grace looks like believing the best in others, including yourself.
Grace looks like confidence in recognizing your faults without cowering under the pressure to disregard those beliefs because someone doesn’t agree with you. (This requires actively pursuing grace in all of those other areas up there, so be mindful)
We are in what is most likely the most volatile political climate felt by our generation. The things happening in our world are not the worst things that have ever happened in history – countless lives are lost in every generation because of the carelessness of mankind. But, for our generation and those younger, we have not experienced the level of division and discord being felt currently. We have got to rise up and be willing to have conversation without the desire to decimate our “opponent”. That has never gotten humanity anywhere! Braving grace regarding God and Government may be a daunting task but extending God’s grace is the only way we will survive what is ahead of us without destroying relationship with others. And that is really the only true eternal currency in God’s kingdom – people. Neither Donald Trump, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Mike Pence, or any other government official have the power or the money to infiltrate the very being of mankind, that right is reserved for the Creator. That knowledge should give us all a starting point to braving grace during the next several months of social media craziness and the conversations we will have & hear regarding God and Government.
*P.S. This is an excellent video discussing the psychology behind why we have conflict and how to navigate in it well. Disclaimer: I am not promoting the author/speaker outside of this specific video. I am not to be held responsible for individual perception of said resource or it’s effects on the viewer. It is not meant for furthering biblical studies, but solely addresses human behavior.