I am disheartened by the state of discourse in our country today! It seems many people (not pointing at any one segment) in our country today cannot have a simple conversation or discussions with someone who has a differing viewpoint or idea. We tend to segment ourselves into our own “factions” and are only concerned about promoting our interests. We do this by screaming at each other and slandering the other person as if they were our enemy rather than our brother or sister or at least our fellow citizen. When people don’t get “their way” they revert to acting like children who lash out and demand “their way.” If my daughters ever acted as I see adults acting today, they were disciplined, and their behavior called out and corrected. Today, many people accept this childish behavior as the norm and suggest that this is how one has to get their “voice” heard.
I also find it interesting that as we have removed God from the public square our cities, schools, communities, and government seem to be getting more hostile and less loving. As we have taken prayer out of our schools, crime and depression among our teens have increased, bullying and violence have escalated. As church attendance decreases in our country problems in our society have grown, and our ability to connect and be civil to one another seems to be less prevalent. We seem to view each other as individuals whose identity is now defined or labeled by our sexuality, political positions, gender, and race. We seem more interested in pointing out our differences than how we are alike. We are less accepting of our neighbor than ever before. And social media is helping to fuel this in my opinion. I recently saw someone write on Facebook; “If you support ______ at all, then de-friend me! I no longer want to have anything to do with you!” Is this really what we have come to? Retreating to our bunkers (the privacy of our computers and phones) and lobbing insults and hatred towards anyone who has a different view?
I believe there is a different way! It is the way of Jesus and is stated in the passage from Philippians 2:1-8,14. This passage shows us how Paul, who imitated Jesus, modeled for us this different way. This different way is the way of Jesus.
The way of Jesus begins with humility and self-denial. It is the way of love and grace. It is the way of putting others first---me second. It is the way of denying my agenda (political or other) and trusting that God is in control. It is the way of listening to others for understanding and loving all people, even our enemy. It is the way of not seeking power but yielding. It is the way of sacrifice and not self-promotion. It is the way of taking up your cross, no matter how hard or painful, swallowing your pride and following-- not fighting.
As hard as this different way may seem, it is possible through Jesus. It is living the way of Jesus as he modeled for all of us! I invite you to imitate Jesus and strive to be light in this world. Join us at Our Savior’s Palm Springs as we live the Love of Jesus changing the world one person at a time!