Have you turned on the news lately? If you have, then you’ve probably noticed the flames of passionate anger being stoked by the various anchors, analysts, and reporters. This isn’t a problem on one side of the political aisle or the other. It seems that everyone is angry, and they’re encouraging others to partake in that anger. Fostering a culture of indignation, frustration, and hatred. It’s enough to make even the most hardboiled of cynics want to turn off the TV. There’s no mistaking that divides are deepening, but no matter how much media may tell us that we should be outraged it’s important to remember our witness.
Over the course of the past year, I’ve been around people of differing political and world beliefs a great deal of time. Some of these people hold completely opposite opinions than I do; yet, I still befriended many of them. I became their friend for one simple reason: I loved them. I often chose not to speak about my opinions and simply made myself available and helpful to them; those that grew closer to me I shared some of my stances with. I could have gone in straight with the direct message to argue my point, but even if confrontation like that was my forte, nobody would have listened. I would have become another screaming voice, begging to be heard and destined to be dismissed.
I was able to talk and share my opinion with these people by having them want to be a part of my life, and I was pleasantly surprised a few times when my offers to visit church with me were accepted in kind. Some hadn’t been to church in more than a long time, and I can’t help but think that part of the reason why they were comfortable going was because they didn’t have to feel alone in the crowd. I’ve really seen this year how important it is to express love to people through how you live, and how much a soft tone will get through what a shouting match can’t.
As the world dips further into chaos, and emotions are rising, I can’t help but be reminded of Psalm two, verse one: “Why do the nations rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?” Rage seems to be more than appropriate to describe some of the passion and vitriol that people have for their beliefs right now; not just in America, but all over the world. But that’s never how the Bible teaches Christians to behave, and it’s important to remember the compassion and patience that we are instructed to have. I find it more than a little ironic that often in the Bible, God spoke with people when they were alone, and with a ’still, small, voice.’ The world is full of so much noise right now, that it’s hard to hear the call of truth and love. As counterintuitive as it may seem, sometimes it’s with a quiet voice that we can speak the loudest.