It Takes Time

Could the world of politics in this country get more out-of-control?

As I write this, one presumptive nominee of one party is calling another nominee “lacking intelligence” with no ideas. The other presumptive nominee is calling the other nominee “liar.”  And the House of Representatives has had a “sit in” because the minority party desires a gun control bill and they cannot get a vote on it.

As a person who has studied communication all my life, I cringe at all the divisive language.

As a Christian I ask myself where is the ability to be peaceful, accommodating and understanding.

Pastor Adam Hamilton imagines Jesus in Chapter 11 of Seeing Gray in A World of Black and White; “I can picture Him [Jesus] entering the Oval Office, or the halls of Congress, to meet with all in power who claim to be His followers, and saying, ‘Let’s talk about what I meant when I told you to love your enemy.’”

I knew the political election season was going to be hard to write about. I knew that some would read my writing and be upset [even though that is not my intended purpose], I knew that the political situation in this country was “uncivil” [I am trying to be kind here].

Yet, God put it on my heart to comment on a book about divisive issues in the Christian world today. Maybe He wants me to try to grapple with my view of the core of the problem.

Here is my take. It takes time.

Ask my wife, I am not known as a speedy guy. I move slowly and I spend a lot of time thinking about my next move.  People who really know me probably are very irritated by how much I stop and think about what to do next.

But for me, it helps.

Since I place a high value on peace, being able to accommodate and making an effort to understand, I want to figure out how to avoid strife, inflexibility and lack of understanding.

When problems occur between people, I spend a lot of time trying to figure out what has happened. For example, in my church, we have communication problems from time to time like any church.  It’s regrettable but it happens.  One thing I have experienced over and over again is the lack of honesty that people have toward each other and the quick conclusions that they come to.  Lack of honesty occurs when a person has a “beef” with someone and they don’t go to that person and talk it out.  They just hold their hurt inside or maybe share their negative feelings with others [which can really cause damage].

Jumping to conclusions about people is so common in our fast-paced world. Rather than getting hurt and spreading damaging information about someone else, ask why the other person inflicted “hurt” on you. What caused them to say something or do something that you deem inappropriate?  Don’t just jump to a quick conclusion that is probably wrong but it is quick.  [We have to have quick today, don’t we?]

I have found over the years that people are complex creatures.   All of us have problems and our problems have a tremendous impact on our behavior.   Words are said that we really don’t mean.  Actions are taken that we wish we could take back.

Another thing I have learned over the years…”when it is out there, it is out there.” Once you say it or do it, it is gone.  You cannot put the genie back in the bottle.

What do we need?

Time…

In our world, we hear a small bit of news on the television and we think we have the whole story. We read a headline in a paper and we think we understand.  We turn to one of the  biased cable news networks and we hear their “slant” on the world and we buy into that.

It is not that easy; it is not that quick.

Slow down and take the time to come to a conclusion that is based on some solid information. Explore various varied sources.  If you truly believe in God, ask your Lord how to approach situations and listen to His urgings that come through your Holy Spirit.  My God is not a God of quick, instant answers.  I have worked hard over the years to get to know Him.  Over the years He has slowly revealed some very helpful information to me.  I have so much more to learn.

He has the answers for the choices we have to make in life and another thing I have learned: life is all about the choices we make.  The choices reveal how we truly believe about our Lord and Savior.

Take the time to decide what to do.   Take the time to ponder your choices.  When Jesus said “love your enemies” I really think He meant that.

Figuring out how to do that.

It takes time.

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