Politics are considerably divisive in nature. As they say, if you want to avoid offending those around you; stay away from religion and politics. These are two topics that tend to be emotionally-charged and the conversation can become heated. Side note: you can and should offend for the sake of Christ and the Gospel. But that’s another blog for another day.
I remember meeting a friend of the family a few months ago. Keep in mind, this is a woman I had never met before. Immediately after being introduced to her, she starts ranting about why she is pro-choice. Of all the topics to discuss with someone who is practically a stranger to you, abortion is a risky choice (see what I did there?). I have to admit, I was slightly taken aback.
However, around friends and family (that I’ve known for more than 30 seconds) I do feel slightly more comfortable talking about political, social, and economic issues. With folks that I’m akin to, I expect that we can always agree to disagree.
Even among Christians, I don’t mind trudging through the theological battlefield. My mom and I, for example, agree on a lot. However, when it comes to theology, there are times where we must humbly and respectfully disagree. For the record, I’m giving her far more credit than me as she was the one who tolerated me during my cage-stage.
This is my attitude when it comes to religion and politics. It’s good to talk and debate. It’s okay to disagree, even. That’s why it was so shocking to me when a family member stopped talking to me because of my position on President Trump. Not only did she stop talking to me, she broke ties with my sister, my mother, and my uncle. We were all shocked and hurt by her response to a difference in political views.
This whole situation has forced me to examine my own relationships. While I think cutting a family member out of your life for the aforementioned reasons IS an over-blown reaction; I’ve behaved the exact same way. We are so quick to dismiss people the second they rub us the wrong way.
The prevalent world view seems to be: just do you. Whatever makes YOU happy, whatever is convenient for YOU…do that. We don’t even bother considering who we may be hurting, because we are only focused on ourselves. But what does Scripture teach?
Part of being a disciple of Christ is that we put others before ourselves.
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. – Philippians 2:3
Scripture also points us to forgiveness, grace, and reconciliation. (Colossians 3:13, Colossians 4:6, Ephesians 4:29-32, Matthew 5:7, Romans 12:18-21) Matthew 18 goes as far as to give us a blueprint, so to speak, to follow in the event that a fellow Christians sins against us.
Are there times when we need to establish boundaries? Absolutely. Are there times where, maybe, we need to distance ourselves from someone. Yes. But, more often than not, our motives aren’t pure. We react emotionally, with anger, bitterness, or pride and throw away relationships without just cause. These knee-jerk reactions and hair-trigger tempers are the result of a heart problem that we must pray about and repent of.
Instead, let us aim to reflect Christ in our relationships. Let us be quick to forgive, demonstrating an abundance of grace, patience, and humility. As Christians, our friendships, marriages, and families should be stronger than those of non-believers. This is, absolutely, a way for us to be light in a dark world.
Take care and God bless.
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