It's wise for us to think through our emotions before we let them direct our words, actions, decisions. We need to process our feelings and thoughts about situations in life before we do anything with them. And even before we process, we need to pray. We need to pray for wisdom, discernment, guidance, and strength. Then we act.
Over the last two to three days, I have been ashamed. Shame is also part of the reason I have kept my mouth shut. But no more.
So many of my fellow Christians are making fools of themselves as they respond to the election of Obama. I don't want to associate myself with some of you, I don't want others to see how you have behaved and then assume I am the same way. Christ might be ashamed, too. I don't know.
I say this in love, brothers and sisters: We, the Church, are to be a light. We are to point to Christ, not to ourselves. We are to represent Christ's love in a real way. We are to love God and love people. We are to trust in God and trust that he is in control. We are to place our faith and our hope in the Word of God.
We are not to slander.
We are not to disrespect the authorities that God himself has placed around us.
We are not to disrespect each other.
We are not to act in a way that does not represent or glorify Christ.
On one hand, the Facebook statuses I have seen over the last couple of days have been really entertaining. The idiocy of some people!
But on the other hand... I have been deeply ashamed, and troubled, and disappointed.
I will give credit to some Christians: Some have responded with prayer for our country and its leaders, with faith in God's sovereignty, and with respect for our president-elect. But others have responded with disdain, embitterment, anger, and slander.
Among the things I've seen include the accusation that Obama is: the antichrist, a socialist, Muslim, and a fraud. Also, people who voted for Obama aren't Christians. Christians can't vote pro-choice.
And the people that have said these things have all been self-proclaimed Christians.
I urge you, as a fellow believer, to not slander anyone, regardless of who they are or what they stand for.
I could say so much more, but I think I'll just let the Bible speak for itself:
Ephesians 4:25-27, 29-5:2
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. "In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Follow God's example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
2 Timothy 2:23-24
Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord's servants must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because our anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
1 Thessalonians 5:17
I say all of this with love and don't want to start arguments. I'm not completely confident in Obama's ability to lead our country, either. Regardless, we need to pray for him and his administration, and we need to respect the authorities that God has placed over us. Be careful of the words you say and be mindful of the way that you represent Christ.