Our most recent election results have only further clarified the great divide in the American people. This divide goes far beyond ideology and policy and into core American principles of freedom, faith and family. This conversation needs to be had. Regardless of who you supported, voted for or didn’t vote for. Start here. Start with the person in the mirror. Here are 4 daily steps you can take to begin the process of healing the divide. (Scripture footnotes can be found below.)
- Stop Labeling: This is the one of the largest, if not the largest, problem we face to unite us as a country and most people are terrible at it. Labeling. Stop calling all black young men thugs. Stop calling all people of middle eastern descent terrorists. Stop calling all white Republicans racists. Stop. Stop. Stop. Out loud and in your mind. You are a part of the problem, not the solution. You offend and vilify an innocent majority while attempting to indict a fractional minority. Draw a line in the sand and choose to not paint with broad strokes. There is a difference in political correctness and respect for one another. (John 8.5-11)
- Pray: Actually pray. Not just for the country but for your adversary. They aren’t your enemy despite what you might think. And before you get to worried about praying for the other side, pray that God would reveal and help you remove the plank in your own eye. We have all fallen short of the glory of God. Until we remove the plank in our own eye we ought to just keep our mouth shut. And once you begin to make headway on your personal plank, when pride has been torn down, pray genuinely for your adversary. (Matthew 7.3-5, 2 Chronicles 7.14)
- Listen: Like actually listen. Like build a friendship with someone you have previously held pre-conceived notions or labels toward. Not a Facebook friendship but the real thing. Where we share meals, call each other to talk about our families and actually care what the other person has to stay. We clamor for politicians and Washington to reach across the aisle to make positive change but we won’t reach across the street and do the same. Most of the time we are too prideful to learn about the hopes, fears and pain of our neighbors and we miss out on the beautiful tapestry of our diverse land. (James 1.19)
- Love Freely: To Christians, if you don’t have this, you got nothing. Our faith hangs on the love poured out for us at the cross and our only response is to love God and love people fully. To secularists, agnostics and atheists, be a part of a more tranquil union in our nation by loving those you disagree with. You don’t have anything to lose by respecting the opinions of others and making this society a more pleasant place to exist. (Matthew 10.5-8)
John 8.5-11 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 “No one, sir,” she said.“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
Matthew 7.3-5 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
2 Chronicles 7.14 If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
James 1.19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry
Matthew 10.5-8 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6 Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. 7 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.