I have chosen to not write about or address politics up until this point. There is a very specific reason that I have made this choice. As a therapist, it is NOT my job to give my opinion on what political party that I think someone “should” have, what I think someone “should” feel or how I think someone “should” believe. (Should is a 4 letter word BTW) It is my goal to make people feel validated, understood, empathized with, and heard. The recent events that have been happening, the continued political climate, and the way that people are treating each other has made me believe that it is time for me to speak out but probably not in the way most people would suspect.
1. We all have value. We all matter. Everyone’s voice is important.
2. I am disheartened because as a Christian I see and hear people using the name of Christ and their beliefs as a banner to incite unkindness, as well as continued fear, and I am tired. After the Capitol attacks last week, I’m so tired.
3. I am so thankful for my Pastor’s message on Sunday. Our Pastor on Sunday spoke to the riots that occurred at the Nation’s Capitol. His words echoed in my heart and I asked him to share them with me so I could share them with others.
Pastor Hoyt Savage wrote:
There is always a challenge to reveal the God of the Bible and the Savior who died on a cross for our sins to a watching world. No Christian is perfect, me included. But a watching world often compares what they know of Christ to our actions when we act under the banner of “Christian” or “Christ-follower.” What we say and do is often “the gospel” to those who observe our lives.
Last Wednesday I saw many who were protesting in Washington, D.C., with banners proclaiming Jesus’ name, but I didn’t see any actions by those who incited violence or were involved in violently storming the Capitol that reflected obedience to Christ.
Destruction of property and threats to people’s lives don’t evidence obedience to Christ. Racism doesn’t evidence obedience to Christ. Lies, hatred, and violence don’t evidence obedience to Christ. My spirit is grieved that some people will think the “Jesus” signs carried and hung that day indicate that Christians think those actions are okay. They are not! I know what I saw on Wednesday is not how Christ wants His followers to live.
Elizabeth Elliot summarized it well years ago when she wrote: “Obedience to God is always possible. It is a deadly error to fall into the notion that when feelings are extremely strong, we can do nothing but act on them.”
4. I believe that at the root of everything, my goal is to display the love of Christ to everyone I encounter. Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Are we doing this? Are we showing the pure love of Christ to our neighbors? If you are not a Christian, what does your moral compass say? Have we become a society that believes that we have to be right, and if we believe our truth supersedes someone else’s, then we have to incite fear, or teach each other a lesson.
It is time for all of us to come together, stop invoking fear, hurt, despair, ruthlessness, etc. and it is time for us to listen. What would it be like if we listened to what others felt, thought and believed and then showed enough vulnerability to validate the other person, wow… What a difference that could make.