The beauty of family is that we are not bound together because we all see eye-to-eye on everything. What binds us together is that we are family. It is love that connects us, not agreement on everything.
There’s nothing like a federal election to bring out the vocal opinions and passionate viewpoints of people. Our convictions come from our deeply rooted belief systems, so it can be easy to get offended or take it personally when someone challenges what we hold so closely. Our immediate reaction is to disconnect with people when they voice their conflicting values and priorities.
One of the greatest challenges of this generation is that we can so easily cut off, ‘unfollow’, or ‘block’, people who we disagree with. This is not a healthy way to relate to people. To be able to listen, disagree, and still maintain a loving, respectful relationship is a mark of maturity and a sign that love surpasses all.
Confrontation, different belief systems and challenging discussions, are not only possible, but also healthy. Our personal world will become very small if we only surround ourselves with opinions and people that make us feel comfortable and never challenge us to think another way. We should in fact seek to understand where people who are different to us are coming from. We do not have to agree, but an attempt to understand and hold honouring conversation is good.
Consider the grace shown towards you by an all-knowing God. I’m sure he could easily look at our ideas at times and think, ‘Pfft! She has no idea what she is talking about! How small-minded and ridiculous! How dare she have that perspective after everything I have done! What ignorance!’. But in His grace and love, He remains connected to us and seeks out relationship with us above all. He doesn’t dishonour, block or unfollow us because of our beliefs. Why? Because agreement on ideas isn’t what he is primarily after. Relationship and connection is what He is after. Likewise, as the church, we should model the same heart.
When we feel that people are ignorant, watch that we don’t:
-Demonise people we disagree with.
– Create an ‘us’ and ‘them’ mentality.
– Spiritualise the demeaning of those with different persuasions.
In today’s political climate where tension and emotions are high and different views and contrasting opinions are vocalised, let the church be a picture of a family marked by grace and kindness, regardless of political stand points. Be aware of your thoughts and words. Watch what you partner with in conversations and over social media. Remember, the enemy will take any opportunity to bring division in God’s family.
A daily devotion for a better way of living.