Heart–to-Hartin - Jan. 2020
In the view of millions of Americans, the last four years have been a disaster
with regard to how our nation has been governed by its elected officials. For
those Americans, the swearing in of a new presidential administration brings
the hope that we can leave behind the disturbing events of the past and enter
a time of greater cooperation and less animosity among our government’s
leaders. In the minds of these individuals, the “nightmare” is finally over.
We must realize, however, that our nation remains deeply divided and that
what we’ve seen happening in our nation’s capital is being played out in
various forms throughout the fifty states. Among other things, millions of
Americans are still coming to grips with the reality that America has become an
increasingly diverse nation in which the majority culture can no longer claim
privilege and prevalence in all facets of American identity.
Some people – including many Christians – are still very bothered by this, and
we should expect that these people will continue to express their displeasure
through rallies, protests, and incendiary posts on social media. In fact, it’s
possible that what we’ve witnessed over the past four years is only the
beginning of a long and difficult stage in our nation’s growth and development.
As followers of Jesus, what will you and I do in response to the ongoing unrest
which has polarized our nation? What should we do?
An important first step is to examine our own hearts. We must ask ourselves,
“Am I contributing to our nation’s problems through my own actions and
attitudes? Are the things which I’m doing helping to bring people together? Or
are they driving people further apart?”
Another important step is to educate ourselves. We need to realize that we
often dismiss opposing viewpoints without fully understanding the rationale
behind those viewpoints, instead allowing our responses to be shaped by the
news media outlets that suit our preferences. Part of educating ourselves is
learning how to see an issue from different points of view.
Finally, we must love people—i.e. all people, including and perhaps especially
those whose thinking is in direct opposition to our own. The love of God
flowing through His people into the lives of others is what our nation needs.