There was no peace to be found the day after the election. Truth is, there hasn't been peace since it started. The rain falling from the skies, the lack of sunshine...it's as if the earth itself was mourning. Mourning the hurt, mourning the hate, mourning the judgment, and mourning the fear that we have heaped upon each other. We are still very much a nation divided and what's worse...the Body of Christ is just as divided.
For months we've behaved like the rest of the world...beating each other with our words and our opinions. We've judged each other over who we were going to vote for...each claiming the other side wasn't truly following Christ because of who they aligned themselves with. Don't think for a second that choosing not to vote, made a way of escape from scrutiny. Not at all... not voting just meant you were considered un- American or stupid.
Some of us are cleaning out our friends list on social media. Others no longer want to hear about God. A few are looking for jobs and homes in Canada. Me...I've been helping my sixteen year old daughter sift through how she is going to face those she respects in the faith...that voted for the candidate she disagreed most with, without judging them. I'm working from the premise that we've all been duped.
We've fallen right into Satan's trap. We've been so caught up in the political machine, so focused on what divides us, and so selfishly obsessed with preserving our own freedoms that we no longer resemble our Savior...the Savior who laid down His life. We fight with each other because we are unwilling to lay down our own lives. It's time that we stop trying to find our peace in this world, stop looking to political leaders to turn the hearts of a nation, and start living like this world is not our home. It's time to live like we answer to a higher Authority. It's time that our love for Christ is stronger than our frustrations and disagreements with each other. Our love for Him should be what defines us, overflowing and spilling out into a hurt, angry, divided, scared, and broken world. It should be what draws them in to meet the Savior, the lover of their souls. Our love for Him should be the porch light in the pitch black of night that we leave on for the prodigals, so that they can find their way home.
There are several people that I love who are prodigals. Right now they are falling apart at the seams over the words and the behaviors of Christians during this election. Do you know what led them down the road of walking away from God and leaving the church to begin with? It was the Body of Christ. The judgment, the knit-picking, the molds they were expected to fit in had all become too much. They could no longer handle the hypocrisy and the lack of love. These are the same behaviors that have been made manifest among Christians during this election, and have only further cemented the idea that these prodigals can never feel at home in a church again. If we don't let God's unconditional love get a solid grip on us so that it permeates everything we say and do consistently, no one will take the gospel message seriously. Not only that, but we will continue to hurt and destroy each other with our judgments which will only serve to make for more prodigals. So, how do we do this? How do we stop stepping into Satan's divisive traps? How do we keep from being duped?
We love one another.
We love one another with the same love that Christ has loved us. He loved us when we were wrong and didn't know it. He loved us in our ugliest most sinful moments. He loved us in the midst of our stubbornness and pride. He loved us in our depravity. He loved us even when we were blind to the truth. He loved us even though we did nothing to deserve it. This is how He wants us to love each other. This is how we keep from falling into Satan's divisive traps. This is how we keep from being duped. This is how we stop producing more prodigals. " A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so must you love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." John 13:34-35
"By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." By this. Not by who you voted for. Not by what policies you are against. By your love for one another. This is our testimony but during this election we've lost it. It's time Church. It's time to rise up and take it back. We don't need to argue over policies and politics. We live in this world, but it is only our temporary home. We belong to Christ and our future with Him is so much brighter than anything this world has to offer. Stop fighting so hard for the things of this life and start fighting hard to love one another! This is what will win souls, heal hearts, and transform lives. This is what defines us as His!
I end with a question and a challenge. Who do you belong to? Prove it with your love!