I didn’t watch the first debate between Biden and Trump because I’m on vacation, and I sort of knew what to expect. However, I did read several news articles (from both liberal and conservative sources) that pontificated about this first one.
Apparently, it was rough, maybe even ugly.
I wish I could say I’m surprised, but I’m not anymore when it comes to American politics. In fact, I’ve noticed that even conversations (and I use that word loosely) between some Christians nowadays are pretty harsh at times.
I’ll keep this post short (I’m still on vacation), yet direct, and here’s my big idea:
We must learn the forgotten art of civility.
You can have an opinion and firmly held belief.
You can lean to the right or the left.
You can think that everyone is wrong, but you of course.
But civility must always be our default.
In case you’re wondering, here’s the dictionary definition (I do want us all on the same page):
- politeness and courtesy in behavior or speech.
Untrained children scream unkind words at each other.
Bullies yell and emotionally intimidate.
But adults, especially those who follow Jesus, should practice the ways of the Kingdom.
Here are a few of those radical and righteous ways for your consideration:
- Kindness, mercy, and patience. (Even when you’re right and they are dead wrong.)
- A gentle answer. (Because it genuinely does turn away wrath.)
- Selflessness. (Even if that path takes you to a cross.)
- We are to honor others above ourselves. (Because everyone is created in the image of God and deeply loved by Him. Yep, even the ones on the other side of your political fence.)
You don’t have to like me (or anyone).
You certainly don’t have to agree with me (about anything).
We can have very different views about a lot of different topics.
Without question, it’s good to take a stand for truth, justice, and righteousness.
But civility is Christlike.
We’re supposed to do everything in love.
If you know Him, please be more like Him today.
Let’s change our world without verbal riots, one civil word at a time.
You are always and dearly loved by God!
So clothe yourself (intentionally put on) the virtues of God,
since you have been divinely chosen to be holy.
Be merciful as you endeavor to understand others,
and be compassionate, showing kindness toward all.
Be gentle and humble, unoffendable in your patience with others.
Colossians 3:12 (TPT)