Even if We Disagree, You Make Me a Better Christian
...Yes even amid all the crazy making that will be known as the 2016 election.
Can I tell you something?
I used to royally suck at being graceful. Like. A lot.
No I am not talking like ballroom dancing graceful.
But the kind of graceful that seeks to be genuinely kind and loving to people I may not agree with.
I used to have a much harsher, more judgmental view of the world, especially other people, and even more myself. I had a hard heart in a lot of ways. And I have had to repent and ask forgiveness for ways I had truly hurt people out of ignorance.
One of the things that has most grown and matured me over the last few years is surrounding myself with people, books, ideas, perspectives that I may not necessarily agree with.
I love wrestling with ideas, words, and trying to understand it all through a Kingdom perspective. As a result, I am much more aware of my own weaknesses and prejudices. Words like mercy, dialogue, compassion, and listening mean so much more to me now.
I am learning to have and wrestle with difficult conversations with a more tender, pastoral heart. I am much quicker to see the freaking plank in my life before pointing out everyone else's splinters. I want to really listen to you vs. just getting in my two cents first and last. I would rather accompany you than judge you.
Trust me, if there was an Olympic medal for judging I could have taken the gold.
How much different would things look like in this world if we allowed those who disagree with us help make us a more loving, kind person?
I don't mean in this a "You're okay, I'm okay" Pollyanna BS kinda way. I mean to sincerely look at this particular person and ask, "What can he/she teach me in this moment? How can I love the Christ in this person right now?"
Sure its great to love the people we like. But Jesus said what matters even more is to love those who hate us, to love those we particularly don't like or maybe ourselves do hate.
When we meet Jesus Christ for Final Judgment someday, He isn't going to ask us about our politics, theology, denomination preference, tithing history, whether you're gay or straight.
I think what will matter most is how well did we love God and love others. The loving God thing I think I'm doing a fair-ish job at. Its just all God's people, that's what trips me up.
There are so many authors and thinkers from a variety of political and spiritual traditions that have shaped me in new ways. Honestly we will probably never meet. And if we ever talked heavy religion or politics at a dinner party, it would be pretty lively I am sure.
But I am grateful for each of you, because in different ways you are helping me to become a little more like Jesus.