I guess hurtful rhetoric, partisan prayers, and name-calling are the norm in political discourse. I don’t know how you’re handling it, but more than once I’ve said, “Sufferin’ succotash!” to the TV (I don’t know what succotash is, but apparently, it can suffer).
It’s easy to swing from anger to mockery to sadness, isn’t it? (And I’m an Independent)! Last week, when I was reeling from all the vitriol, my friend, Mia Franklin, reached out. “I think it’s just so clear,” she said to me, “that the Christianity that most people know needs to be redefined. People see hypocrisy associated with the name of Jesus and I’m motivated to prove that wrong and help people see the grace that Christ died for. We have a lot of work ahead of us!”
Jesus’ “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” immediately came to mind. What’s a blessed “peacemaker”? A good negotiator? A highly disciplined person who refrains from taking sides? Of course, some families and churches can appear like peacemakers, but unfortunately, it’s only because open discussion has been silenced. One glance at Jesus, the Prince of Peace, and we’ll find that compromise, neutrality, and passivity do not “fit” him at all.
So what is a peacemaker? Is a peacemaker the one who is “quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger” and refuses to demonize anyone—no matter how rough it gets (James 1:19)? Is a peacemaker the one who communicates with humility and gentleness (Ephesians 4:2) because they know it’s the Holy Spirit’s job to bring conviction (John 16:8)? Is a peacemaker the one who feels no compulsion to “win” every argument because they understand “the meekness of wisdom” (James 3:13)?
Sufferin’ succotash, I have a lot of work ahead of me. (Thanks Mia).
By Gloria Wiese, Minister for Discipleship