and you gave me a new song,
a song of praise to you.
Many will see this,
and they will honor
you, the Lord God. Psalm 40:3 (CEV)
As a Christian writer, I try to be very transparent about my life and my journey in following Jesus. After all, you can’t work toward an authentic faith without being honest with yourself and God. With that said, I have to confess that I’m really struggling on this Inauguration Day. Don’t stop reading yet, however, because this isn’t a political post.
The heaviness in my heart right now goes way beyond politics. I’m disappointed in the fact that our national discourse, our expression of ideas and ideals, our actions and reactions displayed a total lack of regard for the sanctity of all life. Maybe it’s always been there, an unfortunate consequence of being human. We don’t like change, uncertainty or anything else that might be considered “other” to what we identify with and understand. But our struggle with change should never lead us to disregard and degrade other human beings. And even if we are not, as individuals, engaging in the process of degrading and diminishing others, our silence while it occurs makes us accomplices to the process.
I’ve been praying a lot about what I see going on in our public political sphere. And my friends, here are the words God is whispering to me.
Sing a new song…
Political affiliation aside, we Jesus people have a duty that is higher than any political mandate. God is calling us share his message of love and goodness to the world. And if we’re sharing God’s love and goodness to the world, we cannot be engaging in conversations and debates where we tear others down to build ourselves up. We need to counter the discord in our society by being Christ’s hands and feet in our homes, in our workplaces, in our communities and even in the world.
Sing a new song…
Instead of criticizing someone who believes differently than we do, we need to listen and learn why they believe the way they do.
Instead of pushing away those we see as “other”, we need to invite them in. We need to understand what their experiences in life have been like. Then, we need to find ways to bridge the gap between “us and them” so that we can place the label “God’s” on everyone we meet.
When people we engage with at work, around the barbecue grill, in the restaurant, at the ballgame start speaking in ways that disparage others, we need to change the conversation. We also need to be secure enough in our own beliefs and opinions that someone expressing a different opinion or idea doesn’t threaten us.
Finally, we need to keep our focus on Jesus. If we are truly following Jesus’ command to love God and love others, then there is no room for hate, for animosity, for the belittling of life.
In the days, weeks and months to come, I would encourage each of us to sing a new song–a song of love, a song of hope, a song of peace, a song of grace.
Blessings and Peace,