DayBreaks for 10/09/13 – Shutdowns, Politics and Saints
Matthew 5:47 (NLT) If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that.
I hate politics with a passion. I very seldom write about such things because of my intense distaste of such matters. But here’s the real truth: it’s not the topics so much that bother me, but the way people act and speak about those on the other side of the fence. And that gets to the heart of the matter for us Christians, for I fear we may be responding inappropriately to such things.
From a link I received: “During the government shutdown this October, there was only one major point both Democrats and Republicans could completely agree on. Both parties proudly and loudly declared “It was not our fault.” Not so much “taking a stand” as taking a “stand off.”
“There are always two front lines going on during any conflict. There is the horrible physical conflict, the confrontation between persons and countries that results in blood and doom. The losses logged on that physical front line are devastating and deadly.
“But there is also a second “front line” – a front line of no-fault words and diplomatic pledges. A front line of absolute principles and unswerving passions. That second front line has no clear-cut battlefront or set battlefield.
“A front line of true faithfulness has no geographical latitude or ideological longitude that pushes it “over the line.” In keeping with Jesus’ “what-do-you-more-than-others” (Mt.5:47) directive to his disciples, there is a wholly different set of “rules of engagement” that dictate how those who follow the gospel of Jesus Christ stand up for truth. Christians follow different “rules of engagement” than warriors or politicians.”
Here’s the point: as much as we may hate political stands and think those on the “other side” are wrong, we must never be kind only to our friends. We are to be kind, gentle, and even loving towards all. Why? Because we are supposed to be different. Where other vilify we should bless; where other hit we should comfort; when other speak ill of us we should speak well of them or be silent; where others seek to kill either physically or socially we should distribute Living Water.
When Jesus threw this challenge at his followers back in the day, he wasn’t just throwing it at them. It is intended for us in the 21st century, too. No matter how much we dislike someone’s stand, let us love the person who takes the stand and speak well of them. Otherwise, as Jesus said, we are not different than pagans.
PRAYER: Forgive me for the ill I may have spoken of others, Lord, and change my heart to be like Yours! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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