Treat Others With Grace And Love

 

“But to those who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies!”  (Luke 7:27)

Jesus changes things.  Or, at least I’d like to think so.

The social and political climate of our nation is such that there is a lot of anxiety, tension, hostility, and people generally behaving badly towards one another.  Newsfeeds and social media are ripe with people attacking and condemning those with opposing viewpoints.  In social media, friendships are being cut off because of varying viewpoints.  It is just sad the way we treat one another.  I appreciate the passion of the people.  I’m glad we live in a country where we are free to express our discontent.  Protesting is one thing, destroying people’s property and hard earned businesses is not okay.  In these United States it seems we are far from united. 

How do we as Christians interact with the discontent and anxiety?  Is your faith in Jesus Christ reflected in the way you react to what is going on in our nation today? Jesus can teach us a lot about how we treat others.  Just a week ago during Children’s Church at Kid’s First, we were learning about Jesus and the woman at the well (John 4:4-30)  The kids learned that God loved the world so much that he gave his son Jesus.  Jesus gave his life for all people so that we could be friends with God again.  Jesus showed this when he was friendly with the woman at the well.  Though everyone else was surprised that Jesus would be a friend to her, Jesus was eager to help her learn that God loved her also.  She discovered that Jesus is God’s Son and he can change our lives so that we, too, can love everyone.  Maybe its lessons like this that can help us treat one another with love. 

I recently watched a video on Facebook that was a humorous lesson on how to disagree without making people feel terrible.  You can find it by searching KidPresident on the internet.  The young man in the video offers six steps to disagreeing with others.  I’ll share four of them: 

The first is to treat people like people.  Don’t forget the people with the opposing views are fellow human beings and worthy of respect.

Step two, listen, listen, listen!  Before trying to change someone’s opinions, listen to them.  Even if what they are saying doesn’t make sense to you. 

Step three, Pause, Breath, and Love.  It’ okay to disagree.  But it’s not okay to be mean.  Don’t say anything until you can say it with love.  This life stuff is hard.  Let’s not spend our time being mad at each other.  You don’t have to see eye to eye to work shoulder to shoulder. 

Step four, acceptance.  The thing we have to accept is not everyone is the same, and that’s a good thing.  Nobody wins when all we want to do is win. 

I am certain the various viewpoints of our nation are equally held in our church.  Those who are sitting next to you may not have the same opinion of things as you’d do.  May the Holy Spirit strengthen us to treat one another with grace and love.  We can do this.  It’s who we are called to be. 

Blessings and Peace,

Pastor Craig.