About a week ago, I watched the dissolution of a friendship.
Social media is weird like that- allowing a bystander (like me) to see all the details, all the comments, that resulted in the death of a relationship.
It started out civil, just one political viewpoint, and a friend who disagreed politely. But soon the conversation turned from political standpoints and policy decisions to name calling and blaming, and right there, in black and white letters on the computer screen, their friendship was over.
And it got me thinking.
Because in this political season, the country is so... divided. And we're not really even that pleasant about it. The candidates are yelling and calling names, and we're following right along with them.
Honestly, I'm one of those who tends to see the world in black and white. There's right, and there's wrong, and gray area is just silly. (It's the J in my ESFJ personality.) I'd like to know, right now, which candidate is right and which is wrong and I'll argue that point until I'm blue in the face.
I know where I stand on so many issues (not on who I'm voting for, yet... ), that I start to identify with my views.
I'm pro-life. I'm anti-death penalty. I'm pro-financial responsibility.
But even though I say I "am" all of these things, who am I really?
Who am I?
I am one in whom Christ dwells.
And that fact has to be the definition of my life. I'm in Christ. First and foremost, for always and forever.
If I'm in Christ, then my political views are built on that foundation, but are not the bedrock of who I am. If I'm in Christ, I can change my mind on economy or human rights issues without losing my true self.
But my identity in Christ also changes the way I treat other people in this whole election process. It's not "us vs. them" anymore.
If I'm in Christ, I also have to ask the next question-- who are you? When I ask that question, I'm reminded that you (whoever you are) are loved by the same God who loves me... and you might actually be my brother or sister in Christ.
Vote with Unity in Mind
That's not to say, "vote the same as everyone else." Not what I'm saying. What I'm saying here is that no matter how I vote, I need to remember that I am unified with those around me- that even the people I disagree with are worthy of dignity and respect because of who they are- loved by the very same God who loves me.
You know, your experiences and ideas may differ from mine. You have a perspective that I may not share. Your views could be totally opposite on many fronts.
This presidential election is complicated. We see the tension in our culture and country, and we also see it in the Church. Respected Christian leaders have reached different conclusions about where their vote will best serve God's purposes- not everyone agrees on who the best choice is for President... but you know what?
We can't let that divide us.
So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. - Galatians 3:26-28
If we are all one in Christ- never mind our ethnicities or genders or socio-economic status- aren't we also one in Christ despite our policy views? Despite our political party affiliation?
Because once this election is all said and done, after November is passed, we'll still be one. We'll still be brothers and sisters. Different, but the same. Parts of one body.
And while we don't always agree (and it's probably good that we don't always agree! we need lots of different parts to make up the body of Christ), we need to maintain that unity of spirit. That commitment to treating one another with respect. That knowledge of who I am and who you are and that we need one another.
If we're to spread the message of Love and Truth to the world, we'd better stop fighting and dividing and cutting ties within our own selves. We're starting to look a lot like the world from which we're supposed to be set apart.
There's no "us vs them" in the body of Christ. No Republicans or Democrats. There's not even pro-life and pro-choice. As Christians, it's us and us, trying to live out our God-given calling in this crazy messed up world.
This election season, vote (and campaign, and behave) with unity as the body of Christ in mind.
Posts in this Series:
DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging habit, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. You may see a full disclosure by clicking on my "About" page. I will only promote products that I use, enjoy, or take a shine to. All opinions and reviews are my own and are not influenced by any compensation I may receive.