These past couple weeks have been historical to say the least. The Cubs won the World Series for the first time in 108 years, successfully breaking the curse. This week, through a unexpected win, Donald Trump secured the presidency. All things considered, the great USA has had a few emotional ups and downs over the past few weeks. Although many people are confused and disappointed, some are also hopeful for a better America, finally feeling as though a platform that represents their views has gained influence.

Without getting too political, how should followers of Jesus respond to all this? Many of our friends and family members may have voted differently than we did or even have differing views or opinions. Here are a few thoughts to consider this coming weekend as we hang out with friends, family and respond appropriately:

1. Become a listener. 
In my house, we have been learning a Bible verse from James 1:19. “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” Poor listening in any situation is never good. When you don’t actively listen, you don’t seek to understand. Anger surely doesn’t accomplish much, unless that anger is channeled in a healthy way to create change through non-violence. Unlike some of the violent protests we have seen over the last year that would make Martin Luther King Jr. role over in his grave.

2. Respectfully disagree.
Difference of opinions don’t have to be demeaning. Use of derogatory words, put downs or condescending speech is unnecessary. People have a right to disagree, especially when there is a logical reason they do so. Just because the person you voted for didn’t get elected doesn’t give you the right to vilify your friends who voted for the one who did. We here in Illinois who might vote Republican have to deal with this on a regular basis as Illinois is typically a “blue” Democratic state. Speak the truth, but do it in a respectful, understanding way.

3. Find common ground.
Seeking to make peace begins with finding common ground. Though there may be fundamental differences, there is bound to be 1 or 2 things you can appreciate about an opposing view point. If there is NOTHING you can find positive about someone else, then maybe its YOU that has the problem. It’s common to be blinded by selfishness, emotionalism and media bias.

It’s hard to tell where exactly our country is headed, but one thing is true. Our country is made up of individuals. Those individuals are part of families and those families are part of cities, towns and municipalities. We have an individual choice to chose how we behave. As followers of Jesus, lets remember that Jesus is still King and God is on the throne. He requires from us to be examples of love, humility and justice to all people regardless of party or politics.

 

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