I’m not extreme, well by most people’s understanding. I have never been booted off Facebook or Twitter. I do consider myself a conservative, socially and economically. But yesterday, I read an article that connected my beliefs with that of an invading army that rapes women and children.
An MSNBC anchor … said that the “dehumanization” of of LGBT children by parental rights bills put forth by some Republican governors is comparable to the war atrocities where Russian soldiers reportedly raped Ukrainian children.
Interestingly, most debate the issue without ever have read the bill. But I digress. This isn’t about the bill, it’s about the vitriol surrounding the labeling of our enemies.
We as Christians are to live above the hatred, above the name calling, above the cruelty to others. Maybe if we read and lived by these words, culture would be different in a good way …
“Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.”Luke 6.27
Here are a few motivating reasons to do this …
- We are to be like God who is a merciful God. He makes the sun rise on just and unjust. And this is not just a way of life, it is a reflection and declaration of the way of god. So ‘Have Mercy’ for we’ve received mercy.
- We are to be satisfied with God and not driven for revenge or belittling our enemies. John Piper comments on Hebrews 10.34 as … “You joyfully accepted the plundering of your property [that is, you didn’t retaliate against your adversaries], since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one.” What takes away the compulsion of revenge is our deep confidence that this world is not our home, and that God is our utterly sure and all-satisfying reward. We know that we have “a better possession and an abiding one.”
- Remember each person is a creation of God, yes broken, yes hurting … but a creation worthy of respect. You don’t have to like the actions to treat others with respect.
- Selfishly, treat others kindly for you would like to be treated like that in return. Love others the way you want to be loved. Too often we expect kindness even when we are hateful.
How do we do this, what are some practical reactions …
- Pray for them.
- Look for ways to bless them.
- Try to see their point of view.
- Forgive … let it go.
- Find any common ground.