God is love
“It is to one’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.” Proverbs 20:3
As I was sitting in the airport preparing to board yet another flight, I listened to the man behind me as he spilled offensive language and hateful speech. Politics, sports, local news, nothing was spared from his voiced opinions. In 2018, this type of behavior is not just limited to airport terminals and public places. Our lives are riddled with these types of interactions and displays of opinionated disagreements and unhappiness. They show up in our office, at our family dinner tables, and all throughout our social media platforms. And guess what? We’re not always the consumers of loud and prideful opinions; we’re also the producers. Or, at least the arguers who feel the need to defend an opposite stance.
As Christians, how are we to handle situations when someone publicly disagrees with our beliefs, whether that be spiritual, traditions, or political? I like to look at two areas to help me remember.
The first is Jesus’ teachings in the New Testament. He commands us to do and speak love as our first and most fluent language. The second is Proverbs. Proverbs is laden with instances about the benefits of being patient and well-tempered, and the importance of seeking discernment and dissolving pride.
To make it more action-based, let's break down the strategy from Ephesians chapter 4. "Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace."
1. Be humble and gentle.
2. Be patient and make allowances for others when they fail.
3. Make every effort to stay united in the Holy Spirit.
4. Bind yourself together with peace.
We have an opportunity to change the dialogue in the world from hate, to one of grace. To do that, we have to speak God’s language. Love.
Weekly Challenge: Let’s make a point to stay in our lanes and love others well, even when it’s not easy. Let’s showcase the light of the Holy Spirit in us and earn the right to be trusted and heard so that when the time comes, we’ll have the opportunity to share The Good News with those around us.