I am in Florida for a few days, leading the New Smyrna Beach Writers’ Retreat. (Yes, it is joyous to be here!) But my heart is still heavy. I flew thousands of miles on three planes to get here, and still it followed me. All the way. I couldn’t escape.
The War is everywhere, it seems. On every media. On Twitter. Facebook. The radio.
We're destroying one another. We need to put our weapons down. How? We are, each of us, trying to defend what must be defended: truth, justice, righteousness, equality, mercy, compassion. The gospel.
Yes. I know. But do you know that we are all equally convicted, on both sides of these issues? Do you know that your arguments and vehemence are not going to change anyone's mind?
So--What do we do with all the hate and anger? We start with the only thing we have control over: ourselves.
Confessions of (a Repentant) Warmonger
*Let us have compassion for one another, for we are all living in tumultuous times. We are all saddened and confused as we suffer deep divisions within our country, our community and among our own families, neighbors and friends.
*Let us confess our own complicity in the uncivil and vulgar discourse that continues to pollute our media, our political process, and even our homes.
*Let us admit that at times we have seen others, even family members and neighbors as a kind of enemy, simply because they belonged to another political party---and we have not loved them. We have not even listened to them.
*Let us confess that we have spent too much time digging out the speck in our neighbor’s eye and very little time on the log in our own.
*Let us acknowledge that we have delighted in the mistakes and failures of those on "the other side" and have not extended grace.
*Let us repent of caring more about the advancement of our own political party and its agenda rather than the advancement of the kingdom of God.
*Let us repent of continually trying to convert others to our point of view, forgetting that we are all called to be peacemakers and reconcilers, ambassadors between God and man.
*Let us confess that at times we have fought so hard for "social justice" we have ignored our neighbors in need around us.
*Let us believe that whatever side we choose on any particular issue, that our brothers and sisters of another view have wrestled with their conscience, too, and all are doing their best to seek God and act with integrity.
*Let us remember that God calls all of us to unity in diversity, that the body of Christ itself is composed of vastly different members, all of whom are needed for the body to be healthy and whole.
*Let us recognize we share a common enemy and it is not a political party, a government or a person. Our true enemy is sin and death, and Jesus decisively won that battle 2,000 years ago. This is the flag of freedom that we wave.
*Let us recommit ourselves to praying for those in authority over us, for they are God’s representatives, whether they know God or not.
*Let us not forget that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ nor silence us from the good news of the gospel, not persecution nor famine nor sword nor presidents nor politics nor demons nor all the powers of hell, nor anything else in all creation.
For the Kingdom is His,
the Power is His
the Glory is His
Forever, world and time