“I’ve never considered a difference of opinion in politics, religion, or philosophy as cause for withdrawing from a friend.”
My Twitter feed teems with opposing views. He’s right! She’s wrong! Biases and blind spots elbowing for more real estate at the dinner table.
I admire the certainty.
Communication’s ease and immediacy can encourage impetuous reaction. Technology has always been better at asking can we than should we.
These days, segments of the Right and the Left have grown surprisingly cozy. Nothing unifies like a common enemy, right? In other ways, polarization remains. Some predict our nation is nearing a bleak, abject future. While others believe a Savior has come: America’s rescue, imminent. Somewhere between those beliefs exists a reality that, I believe, is within the control of a sovereign God who has ordained a providential series of events.
If God rolled his eyes, this would be an understandable time to do so. Fanaticism demonstrates a lack of faith in His supremacy.
Have we forgotten who sits on the throne?
While we try and make sense of the ever-changing landscape, God remains poised and in control. Our state of affairs presents no firsts, no quandaries. He is neither confused, perplexed, nor seeking counsel. He understands human habits, sociological patterns. Because we are products of his design. Image bearers, every last one of us.
Life, history….they march forward. Undeterred.
In spite of the hyperbole, God still moves. He has no political agenda. Nothing to prove. Jesus was not a white, middle-class Republican. He was a dark-skinned Jew from the Middle East….with nowhere to lay His head.
God hasn’t called believers to perpetuate dogmatic rhetoric. He needs our help “selling” Him much less than some suggest. Lasting change occurs not through rage or hate. It doesn’t happen through acts of boastful chest-thumping. Change doesn’t arrive by way of rightness either. Permanence, this rarest of transformation comes by way of empathy, kindness, love.
These virtues aren’t earned by playing an angry short game. Posting a firestorm of unending social media vitriol may temporarily fire up followers, but its shelf life is unsustainable. The long game takes time. Contemplation. Yes, patience.
And patience is hard. Hard, but so worth it. Patience requires turning the other cheek, rejecting the temptation to follow the wide, well-trodden path.
As news cycles move at an ever-increasing pace, and fake news grows more ubiquitous, resisting the urge to sprint is necessary. It’s when we listen, ponder, and reflect that we’re at our best.
Slow to speak, and quick to listen: priceless wisdom.