Picking the Right Kinds of Fights

 


Elections are a way of holding up a mirror to our society.  

They give us a glimpse at what people are thinking and feeling below the surface---far below what they might tell a pollster, a co-worker, or even their friends and family.  

It can be sobering to take a hard look at the results of an election, but the lessons we learn when we do are ones that I think can serve as instructive and helpful as we try to find a new way forward together. 

Perhaps the most important lesson that we can learn from this election is that we are still a very divided country, and there will always be those who will want to exploit those divisions and widen them for their own purposes. 

As followers of Jesus, we need to do better.  And in the interest of full disclosure and transparency, let me just emphatically say that I need to do better.  

Siblings, hear me out on this as I kind of preach a bit to all of us. 

That friend... that co-worker... that relative... with whom you have deep disagreements...  they are not the enemy.  They are not against you.  Chances are, they don't even know you all that well, or maybe not at all.  

Or maybe they do... 

So when push comes to shove and you are in need, or they are in need you would rush to one another's assistance...  

You would comfort one another, you would put aside all of your differences and discover for a moment the true humanity within the other and do everything you could to lift it up.  

There are enemies to our society, to be sure.  

Injustice, Racism, Inequity, Fear, Bigotry, these are the enemies that come to mind.  And we also have to acknowledge the enemy that is this damnable virus, which threatens all of us, no matter who we voted for.  

But people are not our enemy.  

Sometimes people (us) act selfishly and speak destructively when we argue about the real enemies we are facing.  But we have to remember the words of the Apostle Paul who framed these kinds of struggles in spiritual terms when he wrote:  

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Let me offer up something a bit mystical, but powerfully true: The powers of darkness in this world love it when we are divided over how to combat them.  

Because then we become more focused on one another than on the darknesses, and they just keep growing more and more powerful and destructive.  

So may this truth live within your heart today and every day going forward into this new world that is emerging.  

Pick fights today... Pick fights with the real enemies, the powers of darkness, the forces of evil, and not with your siblings, your fellow human beings, children of God all.  

And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.  

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