Facebook has been lighting up with debates, name-calling, and heated disagreements recently…
Should America open back up? Should it stay closed? Should we wear masks? Should we not? Is the media lying? Are they telling the truth? Vaccine? No vaccine?
Whew, there are a lot of passionate opinions being discussed right now!
I’ve heard so many people complain, “That’s it! I am taking a break from social media. Every time I get on here, I leave feeling STRESSED OUT.”
I have personally seen some horrible comments that have transpired between people over this topic. Not between strangers, but between people who see each other every weekend at church.
That’s why I feel so passionate about writing this.
I’m not here to share my political opinions (although if you know me, you know I care a lot about this great country). Far more important than whether our governor or government is doing wrong by us in their actions is whether we as the body of Christ are doing wrong by each other in ours.
Is there a way we can stand for what we believe in AND walk in love?
How Jesus Handled Controversy
Jesus wasn’t afraid of controversy—He constantly broke social norms and sported unpopular opinions. So, that brings up the question: how do we engage in controversy in a healthy way, like Jesus did?
The key is that Jesus spoke the truth in a way that people could receive. He spoke the truth in love (see Ephesians 4:15). It’s impossible to speak the truth in love if we are coming from a place of anger, self-righteousness, or simply seeking to stir up drama. When we are tempted to share an opinion or engage in a lively Facebook debate, we have to stop and ask ourselves, “Who does this benefit? Is this only to benefit me and my pride, or will this edify those who read it?”
We must choose to stand on the side of love, period. If we aren’t operating out of love, then the Bible compares us to a clanging cymbal. It’s just a whole lot of noise!
Unity is forged in our willingness to see the situation from the other person’s perspective. When we look at it from different angles, we can see where everyone is coming from. We may not always agree on the particulars, but love gives us a common vision. When we stand in agreement, we have the victory. What awesome power there is in unity!
It is possible for everyone’s heart to be right—even when we’re coming from two sides of the same coin. Someone doesn’t have to lose for everyone to win!
Strife is a dangerous game you don’t want to play. You may win the argument, but strife comes at a high cost. It opens the door to the enemy, robs you of your peace, and short-circuits God’s access into your life.
Titus 3:9-10 encourage us, “But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them.”
How Can We Bring Healing to Our Nation?
Right now, our nation is severely divided. Many people are lashing out in fear, anger, or are struggling just to make ends meet. You may not agree with someone’s opinion, but remember, they may not be where you are in your faith journey, and their circumstances may not look like yours.
The Bible says a house divided against itself cannot stand. We need to bring unity and healing back to our nation!
Let’s introduce compassion back into the conversation. We have to allow this situation to spark the thought, “How can I make things better for my brothers and sisters in Christ? How can I be a force of love toward everyone I encounter every single day?”
The Bible tells us how, and it’s so simple, it’s almost easy to discount. When we replace judgment, strife, and hate with what Jesus did, the outcome is POWERFUL!
Love others the way Christ loves you.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34).
Forgive—even when it’s hard.
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:31-32).
Extend the same kindness to others you wish they would extend to you.
“Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:31).
Those three, simple things are how Jesus went head-to-head with the social norms in His day. They’re effective, they’re powerful, and most importantly, they help to unite us rather than divide us.
Jesus was willing to die on the Cross to spread the good news of love for everyone, no matter who they were or what they believed. In fact, Paul was responsible for murdering Christians, and God used Him for a greater purpose anyway. Let’s help carry that same message of love to the world!