This is not about Black Lives Matter or protests or riots. This not about support for law enforcement or Defund the Police. This not about politics, left or right. This is not about faith or religion. This is about us.
I have been discouraged by the anger and lack of civility or common decency I see, hear and read about nearly every day. I even wonder if the anger is real or is it because of social media where the most outrageous post seem to get the most attention.
I concede that we are living in extraordinarily difficult times because of the COVID-19 virus and the greatest social unrest we have seen in decades. On top of that 2020 is a presidential election year. Yes, tensions are high, but I appeal to all my friends to rise above the hostility and anger. I appeal to the best of our humanity or as Abraham Lincoln said, “Our better angels.”
Let us put away the anger and wrath toward those who think different than us. This hurts both ways and deepens the divide that separates us. Be secure enough in yourself and your convictions that other opinions do not threaten you. Let us stop the name calling and contempt.
I am afraid that it is to easy to sit at a keyboard and express words that harm and hurt. Be careful what you post or repost. Unless it is a picture of the sunset, flowers, animals or someone’s birthday, everything else is someone’s opinion, including this post. Be careful what you choose to believe and if possible, fact check everything.
I will take full responsibility for my own words. You may disagree with me and that is okay, I will not argue with you, but I will have a civil conversation with you.
I said this was not about religion or faith, yet I confess that I am a follower of Jesus. Faith in him is the guiding influence of my life and shapes my world view. I believe Jesus would say to me, “John, my friend, you can do better.” My friends, we can all do better.
I close with this reminder from Ephesians 4: 31-32; “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.” NIV
Written and submitted by Pastor John Williams, Gibisonville and Rockbridge UMC.