I have written a fair amount about the fear emotion. How it holds us back and keeps us from moving toward the things that we are called to do. But I think fear can have other effects on us. I think sometimes we can fear the unknown so much that we become rigid to certain thoughts altogether. Quick disclaimer, this is about politics but probably not in the traditional sense.
This past week I had the privilege of hearing an exchange student from Pakistan, named Daniyal, speak at a luncheon. He made some clever, albeit slightly racy jokes, that lightened the crowd but then he got real. The last point was that he was scared to come to America. He was scared to come to the South. But what he found was that there was nothing to fear here. Yes, we have some crazies that get a lot of media attention when they target groups of minorities but as a whole, we are good people. He left the group with a charge. He invited anyone that was willing, to make a trip to Pakistan and stay with his family. It was not just a friendly, “please come to my country” as a nicety but rather a “please come to see that we are not bad.” There was so much passion in his voice. He truly believes that when we meet other people and live their culture, the world can change. Not only do I agree but I think we can apply this same principle to our current political picture.
Now, truthfully, I did not plan on writing about politics but I think the timing is perfect. Again, God works in mysterious ways. With all of the elections and campaigning going on lately I don’t think we can ignore it. Our political views do not align with biblical truths. It doesn’t matter which side you are on. The fact that we have parties with opposite views makes getting anything done a nightmare in the first place. But aside from that, I think we have lost sight of why we are here. I mean why humans are on this earth. To love people. Is that in question? Seriously, do you believe that is why we are here or not? Take a minute and evaluate your outlook and beliefs. Nobody is judging you or even knows what you may be thinking. But I think if we can all agree that “loving people” is our sole purpose in living then this conversation can be more fruitful.
Mark 12: 30-31
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
We are in this toilet bowl cycle where each political party is trying to out-crazy the other. It has become a game of “How radical can we be?” And each one is getting further apart, at least what we see. It is unbelievably divisive. I think we can agree on that…
Why am I saying all of this? Maybe our friend Daniyal from Pakistan had it right. As a result of going to see that his country and his people were not evil, his hope is that they would no longer be the enemy. And his point in all of it was that we can grow closer as people if we identify with others. Maybe we should try and identify with those right here at home. It could be in the office next to us or our neighbor next door. What if we didn’t try to classify people by the vote they cast or the sign they put in the yard or God forbid the post on Facebook? What if we tried to understand the person they are and love them regardless of their affiliation? Stop attacking and start praying. Next time you are faced with an opportunity to defend your opinion try not only to listen to the other side but also be intentional about trying to understand it. Pray for peace in your own heart. It is not easy to identify with others but it is necessary to get to a place of love.
My hope in writing in this is not to sway a vote now or in the future but instead to make you think. To make you stop before replying to a certain post or bashing someone you don’t even know. Feel free to call me a naive millennial but also call me brave. Brave enough to love in the face of fear. I think you can be brave too.
That Sounds Fun Podcast – Ep 112, 113
Going Scared Podcast – Ep “Writing Your Own Permission Slip”
Quitter – Jon Acuff