We are experiencing in our world a very complex and volatile society. There’s the right wing the left wing, ethnic cleansing, and ideology driven by extreme fundamentalism.
There is the temptation even among Christian leaders to express in no uncertain terms what their personal views are. Strong convictions on political and religious views seems to dominate today’s media. The right and left-wing agendas address issues that are right on both sides. Becoming intense regarding our views can cause not only division but anger and discord.
While we can never walk from our values and morals that are based upon our Judeo-Christian faith, we need to be informed and thoughtful when in discussion with others who do not agree with us.
We live in an inclusive society where people of all countries come to our shores and deserve the same freedoms as we do as long as it doesn’t conflict with our rule of law. As we move along in society, this becomes a more complex situation.
Jesus was born into a very hostile political atmosphere. Jerusalem was ruled by Rome and while they allowed the Jews some freedom of religion, they were very iron-fisted. When he was asked if he a Jew should pay taxes to Caesar, he had a coin displayed showing the head of Caesar and informed the crowd to give to Caesar what belonged to him.
We are to pray for kings and all who are in authority so that we may live a peaceful and quiet life and dignified in every way. We are to show respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear and honor God.
God spoke to his people through Jeremiah to seek peace and prosperity of the city to which carried them into exile. For lack of guidance a nation falls but victory is won through many advisers. He makes nations great, and destroys them, he enlarges nations and disperses them.
Franklin D. Roosevelt was quoted to have said;
I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer, as we rise to each new day and again when each day is spent let words of prayer be on our lips.
On a more personal level, saying the right words can also be extremely challenging. It is sometimes easier to jump in with both feet when someone is expressing their opinions. The art of listening with love can sometimes give us an opportunity to express effectively a response that can bring healing and direct the conversation to a more resourceful understanding.
Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we could follow Paul’s admonishment in Colossians 4:6 to let our conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt so that you may know how to answer everyone.
The right word at the right time is like a custom-made piece of jewelry, and a wise friend’s timely reprimand is like a gold ring slipped on your finger.