Let me first start this post with a moment of “ahhhh”. The house is spotlessly clean, my coffee is sending up little whispers of steam, and the pumpkin candle is burning brightly. Home. This place feels so safe and cozy and full of love. I just wanted to share that.
I would also like to share my thoughts on politics, everyone’s favorite subject. I’m not here to talk about who I’m voting for, or what I believe about abortion, taxes, foreign trade, blah blah blah. I’m actually here to talk about Jesus, which can be equally controversial.
Growing up, I watched certain news networks, read countless books written by politicians, media correspondents, economists, so on and so forth. I soaked in political knowledge, current events, and history. I wanted to study political science or be a lobbyist or something that would make a difference in America and beyond. Even to this day, I read the news every morning and every evening, closely following the election and both national and world news. I think it’s important to be educated and informed, defending your beliefs and backing them up with factual knowledge.
However, there is often a line that is crossed from knowledge and into ignorance; ignorance of oneself and the result of how you choose to share your own views. So often, we read or hear the thoughts, blurbs, and word regurgitations of of our peers about the injustice of the world, injustice of the government, injustice of the people, intolerance, tolerance, Chick-fil-A, or whatever else in the world people deem necessary to share their opinions on. And there is nothing wrong with that.
But you must ask yourself: what do people know you as? Do they know you as a republican or democrat? Do they know you by pro-life or pro-choice? Gay marriage? Higher taxes? Lower taxes? Do they know you by Fox News or CNN? Or do they know you by the hurtful thing you said about their beliefs? Do they know you by the pain you caused them when you unabashedly demoralized their opinion, often times in front of others?
What are you known for?
Your love for Obama? Romney?
What are you known as?
A republican? A democrat?
Or a Christian?
Are you known for your kind words that are uplifting and encouraging? Jesus did not call us to fight to win over the “left” or “right”. He called us to love, to serve, to encourage others, to build one another up. We are called to be followers of Jesus, fisher’s of men. Do you believe you are able to do that if you are tearing other’s down with your sarcastic remarks about such-and-such?
Please note that I am not saying to be a door mat or not affiliate yourselves with any certain political stance. As I said before, it is important to be knowledgeable and well-informed. It is more important though to be loving and compassionate. I am also not saying to never discuss your views. Conversations are healthy, challenging, and valuable. But what do those conversations look like? If you leave any sort of conversation feeling as though “you won”, you have likely hurt the other person and owe them quite the apology.
What I am saying is that you are known for something and you can decide what you’re known for. That is your own decision. For me, however, I choose to try my hardest to be known for my love of Christ, you, others, my community, before you know me by my political position.
Simple as that. Ask yourself what you are known for. What your words do to others, on both sides of the issues. You are called to love, not win.