It’s appalling those who claim to be Christians and act like the world does. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m looping myself in this. Christianity is not a superiority card. If anything it’s the opposite of that. Christianity, is being set apart. At least, that was the original intent. Today, Christianity is blended. We look like, talk like, dress like and post like everyone else. There’s absolutely no filter in the modern day Christian’s mouth and heart. We live to speak our minds, even if it dishonors those in authority, encourages profanity and subjects those around us to compromise.
Despite your political view, if you claim Jesus is your Lord and Savior, honoring those who are voted, elected and placed in power is the heart that Jesus called us to have. Honor does not mean you agree with rather, honor is respect. The inconsistency in the Christian faith saddens me. We degrade, publicly shame and dishonor those in power or of authority who we do not agree with. Gone are the days of speaking in moderation and morality. Freedom of speech has been abused. Being the “salt and light” of the world is replaced with compromising biblical principles and character in order to speak our minds.
You’ve probably caught on to what I am referring to. Here’s the thing, I am not here to convince you who’s the better political leader. My opinion remains mine, and yours remain yours, but what I do want to convey is that the way you speak, and publicly share your thoughts is a direct reflection of your heart. Anger towards one party or another, hate and detest towards men and women in power is an issue of the heart. No matter your opinion, the way we speak and publicly share our opinions should not remove grounds for God to move and speak. True Christianity strives to change the world, and to do that, we cannot be like the world.
Christians no longer desire a revival in the church. We don’t want a revolution of the heart towards Christ. We don’t want Pentecost. We want like-mindedness. I wrote last week on the attitude of “rightness.” In this attitude we see the issue of pride. Pride that manipulates us to believe we can say and do as we please no matter the cost. Our language has shifted from that of love to bitterness, self-righteousness and anger. The feeling or knowing you are right in what you believe is not an excuse to dishonor those around you, and especially those in power. You can not like someone and still respect them. Story time.
When I was younger, there was this particular teacher who gave me a hard time. She would pick on me for being a “Christian girl.” Odd isn’t it? She would make remarks here and there and I learned to let it go as water on a ducks back. My mom came to find out what happened. I ended up in the principals office because the teacher thought I was being “too Christian.” No, my mom didn’t go all Jackie Chan on the teacher (although she could have) for absurdly turning me into the principal. Instead, she listened to what the principal had to say, calmly responded and took me home. On the ride home, my mom told me a couple things that have remained with me to my adolescent years. In summation, she told me that not always will I like everyone and will everyone like me. The issue of likeness doesn’t grant authority to reciprocate hurt. Mom told me to honor, even when it’s most difficult. Even when I disagree. Even when it hurts, I must honor those before me. Honor is not likeness. Honor is respect and respect is loving those who are difficult to love. That next day of school, mom she gave me chocolate bar to give the teacher. I’d like to say she quit picking on me after receiving the chocolatey goodness . She didn’t. But I did learn a powerful lessen of humility. Honoring (respecting) those who are unlovable, who think differently than we do or believe differently than we do is walking in the foot steps of Jesus.
In the Bible, the author Matthew writes in Chapter 5 verses 13-16:
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Did you know salt is important in human development and health. Salt in the body is the main source of sodium and chloride ions in daily diet. Too much or too little salt affects your nerves, muscle function and regulation of fluids in the body. It also controls blood presume and volume. Our words should be as good salt. Our speech should edify, uplift those around us and provide a source of life. That can be difficult when we think differently than others. Let’s be real, it is much easier to give people a piece of our minds rather than speak in love. But can I tell you something? Jesus, as he was being accused and ridiculed, do you know what He did? He did not scream at the naysayers. He did not lash out in anger and frustration. And neither did He proved his “rightness.” When you have some time, read Matthew 27. You will read, Jesus did not say a word. In his silence, he honored Pilate. Similarly, he did the same before Herod.
Jesus’ example teaches us the importance of, honor. We should have the same mind of Jesus. While we may be right in our beliefs or opinions, that should never grant the grounds to speak words that murders the souls of those around us. Needing to prove your rightness is pride. Whether it be differences in political views, controversial topics, family issues or the daily obstacles you face, we should be the salt and light of the world in the way we speak, live and post. True Christianity is not “blendedness”, it’s authenticity found in integrity of speech and character.
Are you struggling to respect those who think and live differently than you do? Make it a conscious point to respect and in respect, there is love.