Oh, my friends, it’s gotten ugly!
The lines have been drawn in the sand and sides have been taken. Today, President Donald J. Trump steps into the oval office as President Barack Obama leaves.
Some are excited and hopeful and others are distressed and upset.
Groups are fighting, families arguing, friendships ending, neighbors feuding . . . and in all honesty, I believe this is affecting our country even more than what is happening in Washington, D.C. today.
So, my question is this…
What can you and I do to help heal a divided nation?
We can learn to disagree without hurting each other.
How to Disagree and Actually Bless Your Relationships
You knew prayer would be first. It’s always first.
Without God’s intervention through the power of the Holy Spirit, people will never live peacefully with one another. What if we committed to praying every day that God would heal our nation . . . beginning with our broken relationships.
May we pray for a better way, ask Him to show us what to do and give us the words to speak. Then commit to following Him even when we’d rather make a point than mend a friendship.
Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you. Psalm 143:8 (NLT)
You’ve heard the old saying, “Listen to understand not to respond.”
I want to do a better job of asking people why they feel the way they do. It’s possible I could learn something valuable.
Anyone who answers without listening is foolish and confused. The mind of a person with understanding gets knowledge; the wise person listens to learn more. Proverbs 18:13,15 (NCV)
Take a moment to ask the person with whom you disagree the “why” behind their beliefs and hesitate before you tell them they’re wrong. Maybe today they need your love more than they need your correction.
Jesus told His followers to love their neighbors. His followers . . . that’s you and me.
Love makes the relationship more important than winning the argument.
I sometimes wonder if “judging” the opinions and values of those with whom we disagree is easier. Or worse does writing them off along with their beliefs just make us feel superior? Ouch!
And don’t tell me what the other side is doing . . . that doesn’t make it okay.
You and I can to better by seeing even those who oppose us as deeply loved by God and precious to Him?
Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don’t see things the way you do. And don’t jump all over them every time they do or say something you don’t agree with—even when it seems that they are strong on opinions but weak in the faith department. Remember, they have their own history to deal with. Treat them gently. Romans 14:1 (MSG)
Be wise in the way you act with people who are not believers, making the most of every opportunity. Colossians 4:5
Finally, it’s time to say something. But…
What we say and how we say it is important. So, make sure you’re speaking God’s truth not your opinions and then do it with gentleness and respect.
Your heart should be holy and set apart for the Lord God. Always be ready to tell everyone who asks you why you believe as you do. Be gentle as you speak and show respect. 1 Peter 3:15 (NLV)
Wow, it sometimes feels like we’ve forgotten the gentle respectful part.
But let me ask you…
Oh, and remember…
You and I can’t speak God’s truth if we don’t know it. So, we have to read our Bibles and pray before we speak. Not to have verses to use as weapons but to be reminded of just how much God loves and forgives us.
Then, when we know the truth from God’s Word and we’ve prayed . . . we don’t have to get angry or argumentative because we will trust the Holy Spirit to do the convicting and convincing.
It’s not up to you. It’s not up to me either.
God is on the throne. He is who He says He is and able to accomplish His will in the world.
Just in case you’re still not sure about praying, listening, and loving before you speak. Let’s look at what Solomon had to say.
10 Proverbs to Inspire You and Me
Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others. A fool is quick-tempered, but a wise person stays calm when insulted. Proverbs 12:15–16
Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing. Proverbs 12:18
A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare. Proverbs 15:1
The wise are known for their understanding, and pleasant words are persuasive. Proverbs 16:21
A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even-tempered. Proverbs 17:27
Fools have no interest in understanding; they only want to air their own opinions. Proverbs 18:2
The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences. Proverbs 18:21
Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life. Proverbs 19:20
Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back. Provers 29:11
When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. Proverbs 31:26
It was reading Proverbs that inspired me to write this post. I needed it. Honestly, I can rant my opinions with the best of them. Just ask those closest to me.
But I don’t want to be foolish. I want to do better.
I want to be winsome for Jesus. When someone with whom I disagree spends time with me, I want them to know how much God loves them, not to feel defensive or unloved because I’ve judged them.
I don’t have to agree, but with God’s help, I can pray, listen and love before I speak trusting the Lord to work His will His way.
♥ before you or I write that snarky comment on social media…
♥ before we go off on Uncle Henry at the next family gathering…
♥ before we tell a coworker he’s a fool…
♥ before you or I write off a whole group of people as sinners…
♥ before we put down someone in leadership…
♥ before we ___________…
Let’s pray, listen and love!
I believe that with God’s help we can do this. Let’s commit to being catalysts for change refusing to wait for someone else to go first.
Now it’s time for…
Faith ‘n Friends Link Party
I’m so glad you’re here!
This is a place to share faith, make friends, and have fun.
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I’m excited to share the following posts with you this week.
by Heather Bixler
by Patti Krank
@ Old Things New
Thank you, Heather and Patti, for partying with us!
No More Rules Link Party
Add 1-2 of your favorite faith/life posts.
Then just make friends and have fun.
I would really appreciate it if you would
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May your week be blessed with faith, love, and friendship!
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and pray over the list left by our friends.
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