Our nation is deeply divided. Just listen to the venomous comments. This is not good for people or for our society as a whole. So, American, what are you doing? Are you adding to the division with your own comments? Are you happy to see the divide go deeper? Or are you talking and posting online in such a way to show you care about people, personally, regardless of differing positions?
My private worship time this morning led me to ponder something similar in in the book of Numbers chapter sixteen. A man named Korah and 250 Hebrew leaders rebelled and complained loudly against their leader, Moses. Now there are many differences between this story and American politics so we shouldn’t read too much into this. But one similarity is clear to see. Rebelling and dishonoring any government leader is a sin because the Bible says so in Romans 13:1-7. The reactions of many to both the outgoing president, Barak Obama and the incoming president, Donald Trump, by people on both sides are sins against God. These sins lead to the dishonor shown to anyone who disagrees with us.
But I want to point this out for something much more important than politics. What this reveals about the heart of the one speaking divisively is worse than the fact that they are dividing America. They are also harming their own family members and their very own soul. Here’s how.
Human beings either relate to people with the language of the gospel or the language of the anti-gospel. Gospel language makes it clear that a person matters and is of great value because of the image of God in them. They are loved and accepted because of God’s grace shown in the death of Jesus to wipe away sins. The anti-gospel makes it clear people have no value and should not be loved unless they agree with my political opinions. Their acceptance and worth is not based on unmerited favor but on the performance I demand they provide.
A heart that chooses not to speak with gospel language and love to those who differ politically also finds itself treating their spouse and children with anti-gospel actions and words. They are not valued because of the grace of Jesus. They are only valued if they provide the performance we demand of them. People’s souls and relationships shrivel up in this kind of home.
Here we find an insightful window into our soul. Peer through the window of your speech toward those who disagree with you. What kind of person are you becoming? One who fills the air with more and more anti-gospel words? Or one filling it with more and more gospel-filled, gracious, kind words? This is the true content of your heart and it is affecting everyone around you either feeding and nurturing your home and friends or tearing them down.
Please stop tearing down our nation. But please recognize that you’re tearing down something much dearer to you than your nation. You probably don’t realize it but you’re also tearing down your own home. And the greatest blind spot is the reality that you are tearing down your own soul by not resting in who you are because of Jesus and His gospel.
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.” John 15:12-14