I promise to stay away from politics in this post, so please keep reading.
We face a sort of cycle in our society today. A sad one at that. Some thing awful or devastating will happen and we are shocked! We offer to pray for the ones involved, we read or engage in the hot topic online, we may even offer opinions we believe will fix the problem, but we move on.
Is it, because like me, you feel you have no real say in these things? I feel like offering my opinion is all I have. I feel like my thoughts, my prayers, are the best I can do.
There are a million opinions online as to how to “fix” our world. Literally, a million. Thought I haven’t actually counted them, nor have I read them all.
More laws. Enforce the laws we have. Less violence in music and videogames. More diligent parenting. Reach out to the loners, the ones “prone” to violence (in hindsight)
Are any one of those the answer?
They may be good options, but none of them will fix the root issues.
Please know, I don’t plan to get into all that may be the root issue.
Many have stated that it’s not an inanimate object, it is a heart issue. And they aren’t wrong.
I want to challenge us to check our hearts, and see if we are being the example in 2 areas. I want to challenge us today.
R E S P E C T.
Let me take a bunny trail for a minute, then I will get to the point of this post.
I have a sibling who is very passionate about politics. It awoke a desire in me to become smarter in this area. Turns out, while there are many things in life we agree on, political preferences are not one. And I have this blessing/ curse to be able to be able to see both sides of most situations.
There is a disturbing trend I have seen, and it really bothers me.
There is this trend, if you will, of feeling emboldened to blatantly disrespect someone we disagree with. Particularly in politics. We have decided to take respect and throw it away when someone isn’t on our side of the political spectrum of opinions.
Is this good? Is this bad? What do you think?
There are very few people in this world who I don’t respect. I believe respect must be earned. But I also have a hard time disrespecting someone, even someone who has hurt me deeply. Maybe it is how I was raised, maybe it’s my belief, but I truly believe while we may not have respect for someone, we still must choose love and kindness.
That’s my second point. I believe love and respect go hand in hand. I believe you cannot have one without the other.
So what happens if as an opinionated and vocal person, I disagree with someone?
Welllllll, in all honesty, sometimes I handle it super great. Sometimes. Sometimes though, I get a little offended, a little hurt. I feel misunderstood, often times. Sometimes I get rude and insulting, feeling like I must defend who I am with rudeness. That’s wrong. And I am ashamed.
My goal: To be kind, to love and respect others whether we agree on something or not.
My mom has seen many elections. For this past one she said: “Every year it gets worse.”
(I promised to not get political, and I won’t. I am not here to endorse, defend, or even name anyone I approve or disapprove of.)
I am not sure that it’s any one person’s fault that the climate and feelings get stronger and less bearable. There. I said it.
IT IS UNBEARABLE.
Did you know that there are families broken by politics?
I know, my mind was blown too.
Relationships broken and shattered. By politicians?
NO. By us. By people unwilling to see all of a person. By people unwilling to “agree to disagree” and able to still maintain relationships despite disagreeing.
Here is what I think:
This trend is popular among the “adult children” living and surviving in today’s society, workplaces, even churches. So many broken homes, abusive parent(s), bullying, absent parent(s), have created a generation of people who crave and need unconditional love. They crave positive attention and discipline. And because they’re grown up now, they throw these adult equivalents of a child’s tantrum. They withhold respect and get louder and harsher with their words when people disagree. They don’t know that you can disagree on something as trivial as politics and still be friends.
Politics are trivial. Important and they have their place, but overall, in the grand scheme of things they are trivial.
It pains me to see people screaming for a better way, picking fights with perfect strangers. Bullying and degrading anyone who dares to disagree. We demand a better atmosphere “for the children!” yet, what are we providing? What example are we?
I don’t have the answers. I don’t know how to fix our sin cursed world.
“If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.” – Mother Theresa
Now there’s a woman who probably understood people. Her life’s work was people, and serving them.
“What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:9
Eve ate the forbidden fruit. Adam ate the forbidden fruit. Adam blamed Eve. In disobeying God’s command, they brought sin into the world God had created. And we now live as sinful people, always drawn to do wrong, in a sin cursed world.
DO we just throw up our hands, give in, and contribute to the sin? Do we say “What’s the point? God could stop it!” and give up? Ah, it’s tempting, isn’t it? To give up, blame God, and try to ignore our guilt. My family has been hit hard with temptations, trials, frustration. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t tempted to give up some days. Just because we are Bible believing Christians, life isn’t magically better. We still struggle, wonder, and are tempted.
There is nothing new under the sun.
Including God’s love for us, God’s grace toward us, God’s Word to us.
Love and honor, obey and follow God. Ask for His grace and His wisdom.
And do your best to be kind, show love, and respect. While there is nothing new under the sun, it’s still fun to surprise a bully with kindness.