For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Romans 14:17 (CSB)
When I log on to social media, I am quickly reminded how much I’m polarized by politics and theology. My instinct is to jump in and either defend or attack depending on the situation. It’s as if God’s commandments for how we’re to lovingly treat one another don’t apply to our political and theological differences. I don’t want my theo-political allegiances to override my neighborly obligations. But how?
In 1 John 4:20, we read, “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For the person who does not love his brother he has seen cannot love the God he has not seen.”
While many of us wouldn’t want to describe our posture toward another as hateful, how many of us harbor contempt, dislike, or ill will toward our political opponents? If we do, honesty demands we admit we are guilty of hate. It’s only in confessing our sin of hatred that we will be healed and set free in Christ to better love others.
It makes one wonder how on earth Jesus’ twelve disciples grew in their love for one another given the likelihood they held different political views. I have a hunch that through the power of the Holy Spirit, fellowship with one another, suffering together, observing Jesus’ life, and by personally experiencing Christ’s love, they saw that their obligation to love one another was more important than their political disagreements.
As they spent time with Jesus, they discovered the nature of the kingdom is not centered on political and theological tribalism, one-upping one another, or constant division. Instead as Paul says in Romans 14:17b, the kingdom of God is characterized by “righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit” — what they saw in Jesus.
Let’s be intentional with our words, speaking words that encourage and uplift those around us, including those who may believe differently.
This message was written by Marlena Graves and appears in A Moment to Breathe: 365 Devotions That Meet You in Your Everyday Mess from the (in)courage community.
It’s only in confessing our sin of hatred that we will be healed and set free in Christ to better love others. -@MarlenaGraves: Click To Tweet Leave a Comment
Loving Others Generously Is Our Most Important Work (JollyNotes.com) says
Thanks for sharing, Incourage! I was just telling my husband yesterday (after seeing a political post on FB), that this is one of the reasons why I am not active on social media. There are many other reasons, but this is one of them:). Even when words are not exchanged, feelings are often hurt, impressions of people potentially changed, conclusions are often reached (right or wrong), questions and doubts about people start to arise. I just don’t want to go there in my heart.
I also avoid getting into arguments about politics with people – online or in real life. There are so many other things we can talk about besides politics. So many other ways to get to know each other. Politics often just muddies the water. I don’t want to go there. I want to focus on whatever I believe God has called me to do, by His grace. Politics is currently not on that list. I will by God’s grace do my part: get informed, pray, vote, keep praying, and keep trusting God for the best. But I don’t want to discuss or argue with people. I am not called to do that.
I love that verse you shared (1 John 4:20). It is a great one to keep coming back to. To get our priorities straight. May we always remember that loving others generously is what we are called to do in life. If we harbor hate in our heart, we are not doing what we are called to do or being who we are called to be. We are just lying to ourselves .
“Let’s be intentional with our words, speaking words that encourage and uplift those around us, including those who may believe differently.” ~ Amen, Amen, Amen. So help us God, AMEN.
Thanks again for sharing. Have a beautiful day! 🙂
Bomi, reading your post and chosen versus was a great follow on from this post!
I Am Not Called To Argue Politics. I Am Called To Love Others Generously. says
I am so thankful to hear you found it helpful Jas! 🙂
Thank you so much for your kind encouragement!! 🙂
Love & Blessings,
I want to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Use me God! One important reminder is to love others generously. Please heal me lord, give me strength to be able to do your work and show your love. Bless our little film and the making of it and help it free these two refugee families we are in contact with. Only by your divine intervention can any of this be done, Amen.
Thank you for a poignant post tonight! I needed it x
Keep Being A Blessing! (JollyNotes.com) says
Amen! Amen! Amen! May God answer your prayers according to His perfect will, Jas.
God sees your heart, and He will bless your efforts, by His grace. Your labor will not be in vain.
May God’s name be glorified in all we do! Keep being a blessing, Jas! God will bless your efforts! 🙂
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
If we, in any way, pass judgment upon someone else or see ourselves as being better than another, we are guilty of the sin of pride. Some people may think that “pride” is a lesser sin than say murder or adultery. In God’s eyes sin is sin. Pride is probably the most insidious of all the sins because self-righteousness is a tempting trap to fall into. I know I’ve been guilty, and I continually need to come before the Lord and ask Him to wipe the ridiculous smirk of pride off my face and open my eyes to loving others as I love myself. God created such beauty and diversity. What joy we have to take it all in and learn from each other’s paths. In doing so we usher in God’s Kingdom here on earth. Beautiful post!
Blessings this MLK Day,
Beth Williams says
Each time when I pray I ask God to cleanse my heart of any unconfessed sin. Like David I’m wanting God to search & try me. Then I can come boldly before the throne & pray with confidence & love.
Sometimes if I see a political post on social media I may write a response. Mostly I have decided not to talk politics or religion with others. My actions, I pray, will tell the world about Jesus. Like said before there is so much more people can talk about other than politics & religion. Hate is a strong word. It means to feel intense or passionate dislike-loathe, detest or abhor. Not sure I’ve ever felt those emotions for anyone or anything. My stance usually is “I love you/group but, “I don’t like your actions”. My aim is to simply be the eyes, hands & feet of Jesus. Letting His light & love shine in this sin darkened world.
Michele Morin says
I try to start and end every day with Jesus’s words: “…on earth as it is in heaven.”
It’s a huge and horizon-shifting phrase, but that’s really what I need to happen in my heart.
Dawn Ferguson-Little says
I can admit that I have not got on with people in life. Because we are just different personality. But I can’t say I have never hated them. I tried to make friends with people in the past and they just don’t want to be friends with me. I don’t know why? But I not let it get to me. I been nice to them friendly kind and caring. I liked to have been there friend. But it was not to be. There are times yes my Sister’s at times have annoyed me. I admit I probably annoyed them. With words and things I done and said too them. That is family. But I am always the first to say sorry make up with them. That just me. They would hold the words and saying things there was no need for longer. I can’t as I belive life to short. For silly words. People have done and said things to me. I yes have been very hurt. Sometimes by what they have said. I might not have been saved at the time when they hurt me and I know now that I am saved people have also hurt me with words. But I know in my heart to hand them over to Jesus and Pray for them. I cried and said why me. Since getting saved. I know I come to not hold it against them. I been able to move on. Forgive them. As if I didn’t it would only eat me up and I never be able to move on. You got to do that as Christian. As it says in Gods word to do that. I know a Christian and she keeps saying no I will not. But there is a saying it is so true. It is Burry it before ot Buries You. That is so true. The one that hurt you is the one that it does not hurt at all. As they do not give you a second thought. The only person it hurting is you as you keep talking about the hurt. Until you forgive it will not go away. If you need help to forgive the person who hurt you. Do get it from a trusted Christian Councilor etc. They will tell you what to do. So as you can get free. I did to forgive someone closely to me I needed to forgive. I an glad I did. Then I got prayer. I never will forget what they done. But I can know when I see them it not going to annoy me anymore what they done. Now I pray for their Salvation. I am free now. I can show them the Love of Jesus by the way I live my life in front of them. Plus in all I do. Then hopefully they will want the love I have that is the Love of Jesus. Excellence reading. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little xxx
Nancy Ruegg says
In my prayers for our country and its leaders I need to include specific prayers for those with opposing beliefs. Thank you, Marlena, for the important reminder: our aim as Christians is righteousness, peace, and joy. We can pray those three qualities for the men and women with whom we disagree: that God’s righteousness, peace, and joy would permeate their lives.
Amy Maffei says
Our church is doing a series on this very topic right now! I encourage you to look up North Point Community Church and look up Andy Stanley’s latest series. It’s wonderful!!