Are you starting your week with a range of emotions after a weekend of polarizing political, cultural, and spiritual events? Have you looked at your Facebook feed and felt personally attacked or shocked by the variety of opinions from family, friends, and acquaintances? Are you starting the work week wondering,

What next?”

Why is everyone so angry?”

“As a Christian, how do I respond to all of this?”

You’re not alone. You’re also not alone by having friends and family who hold different perspectives than your own.

If this is you, here are 5 ways you can respond to the new political, cultural, moral, and spiritual divisions that {more than likely} are not going away:

1. Quiet yourself before God. Quieting yourself means shutting out human voices so you can hear God’s voice and perspective more clearly. Turn off the news after a few minutes. Spend less time on social media, and even on news websites. Shut out other voices and start tuning your ear to God.

2. Seek God’s voice instead of man’s voice. Human opinions are everywhere right now. Many speak in the name of God or Christianity yet have opposing views. Each of us believes we are right. Instead of seeking more and more of man’s opinions, seek God’s perspective. Read His Word, pray, be quiet, and seek God’s wisdom for you and your family.

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” James 4:8

“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

Indeed, if you call out for insight
    and cry aloud for understanding,
    and if you look for it as for silver
    and search for it as for hidden treasure,
   then you will understand the fear of the Lord
    and find the knowledge of God.
   For the Lord gives wisdom;
    from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. Proverbs 2:3-6

3. Build relationships instead of strife. There are many perspectives within Christianity right now. Instead of arguing with people who disagree with you, seek things in which you have unity with another person. Talk to others face to face, with humility, while also listening to their views. Does this take time and energy? Yes. This is also how we used to have civil discourse before social media.

I feel honored and respected when someone listens to my view even though we may not agree. We show respect to one another when we listen to each other. Listening to each other doesn’t mean you compromise that principle which God has convicted you. It does foster respect and honor, which is biblical.

Strife, however, is not biblical. (1 Timothy 6:3-5, James 4:1, Proverbs 13:9-10, Galatians 5:19-20)

4. Be committed to prayer, God’s Word, and relationships. We didn’t get to this divide in our country or the Christian Church overnight. It crept up on us because we’ve been distracted by instant gratification, things that soothe our emotions, and make us feel happy. Praying, being in God’s Word, seeking quiet, and investing in relationships aren’t the first priority of most of us. That needs to change.

Amelia Rhode’s book Pray A to Z is a great prayer resource.

5. Engage and be active, glorifying Jesus and drawing others to Him. Ask God what is the source of angst, anger, or passion in the rhetoric of recent days. Instead of arguing that point or being silent because your voice isn’t heard, be the hands and feet of Jesus.

Does either side of the misogyny rhetoric anger you? Then support those directly affected by it. Volunteer at your local domestic violence agency or sex trafficking ministry. Call your friend who you know is mistreated by her husband or boyfriend. Listen to your coworker who is angry at men. Listen to her story. Invest in relationships and real people. If you have a story you haven’t told, ask God to give you the voice to share in safe places.

Does abortion anger you? Or do those opposing a right to women’s choice anger you? Volunteer at your local crisis pregnancy center, mentor a teen mom or reach out the the single moms in your church or community. Invite a sister-in-Christ with opposite views out for coffee to hear why she believes the way she does. Work together to promote women and children with compassion.

What about racism? Volunteer at a local inner city school or ministry for kids. Get to know someone from work who’s different from you. Connect with your local Hispanic or Muslim community. Engage with others different than you, no matter what you believe about the current status of race issues.

Are any of these are personal to you? Begin asking God how to heal. If you have, ask Him how you can share your voice or story to help others.

Respond through relationships. Listen to people’s stories. Put a name and face to abortion, pro-choice, sexual harassment, abuse, transgender, racism, or other issues. When you do this, it’s easier to know how to respond and pray because you realize answers aren’t as simple as a march or a political office.

In 2017, this ministry is rooted in looking up to Christ and into His Word–the two things which do not change (Malachi 3:6) like shifting shadows (James 1:17-18) in a culture and church that is changing daily. Salvation is found in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The enemy of Christ is seeking to destroy His church. That seems more clear in today’s culture than ever before.

If you just had 2017 in which to live, how would you spend it? It’s a big question that demands everyday answers.

Respond to that question–that’s how you should respond today.

PS–join us for the broadcasts on Facebook Live Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week at 11:00 EST.

PSS–I’m holding myself to these principles, too.

 

 

 

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