“Therefore I, a prisoner for serving The LORD,
beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling,
for you have been called by GOD.
Always be humble and gentle.
Be patient with each other,
making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.
Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit,
binding yourselves together with peace.” (Ephesians 4:1-3)
Followers of Jesus Christ, these are our words. After listing out some incredible benefits of being identified as a child of God, Paul makes these requests of us.
I grew up believing we were “one nation, under God, indivisible...” because, mostly, that’s what they taught me. Today I see great division.
I struggle to see us as indivisible. I want to, but it doesn’t seem accurate to me. We seem divisible.
Along political party lines, along racial lines, along socio-economic lines, along almost every issue, we divide. Black Lives Matter clashes with Blue Lives Matter, and those unaffected can’t grasp why all lives matter isn’t good enough.
Let me say I love this place. I believe God has blessed our country. But, I also believe we have turned our back on Him to pursue our own ways, over and over again. The current level of strife is a result of placing our own pursuits above His.
Tension builds in me when I see fellow believers more interested in protecting their way of life, than working to give their lives for one another.
Colin Kaepernick kneels during the national anthem, and our feeds and posts explode. People who love God and love others post angry, hateful comments.
Yes, I think Kaepernick could have chosen a better method to take his stand. For instance, the Seahawks standing together, with locked arms for our national anthem, sent a unified message of their concern, without dishonoring those who have sacrificed so much for our freedom. Watching their unity, made me feel hopeful that we can disagree and still be indivisible.
Unity will not be restored through division.
Before you say amen, know this is as true for those who disagree with Kaepernick as it is for those who agree with him. Look at the words from Ephesians 4.
We are to be humble, and gentle.
We are to be patient with one another.
We are to make allowance for one another’s faults.
And we are to make every effort to keep ourselves united together in The Spirit.
In the middle of all this division and strife, the Church should shine like stars in the night sky. Our calling is to love others. We are not called to protect our way, or to force others to see things from our perspective.
I am not saying we cannot share our viewpoint, or perspective. But don’t these verses convict us to be better at listening, and working to understand someone with an opposing opinion?
If we love one another, like we have been commanded to love, we can be the refreshing salt and light we were made to be. This polarized season in our country might just be a great time to love others, all others, like Jesus asked us to love.