If you’re in the U.S., I’ll bet you are just really enjoying this political season, aren’t you? Everybody is just lovingly and happily exchanging ideas on their favorite candidates with tolerance and thoughtfulness. It’s a joy to witness, isn’t it?
What? That’s not what you’re seeing? Yeah. Me neither. There is so much rancor and vitriol going around that I can hardly stand to be on FB, Instagram or any other social media. It’s really disturbing. People that used to be friends are fighting and calling names. It’s sad.
When I was younger, before computers and certainly before social media, there was a custom that discussing politics and religion was poor form. Do you remember that? Why do you suppose that custom existed? Sure. Avoid those topics and you avoid the major causes of fights. But now that we can “share” our opinions from the safety of our keyboards or mobile devices, it seems that getting into fights is the new favorite passtime. Personally, I hate it.
And so did the Apostle Paul. As he was closing his second letter to the Corinthians, he wrote: “Last of all, Christian brothers, good-bye. Do that which makes you complete. Be comforted. Work to get along with others. Live in peace.”
Notice his language there. He said *work* to get along with each other. The implication is that it isn’t always easy to get along. I love my wife, the Lovely Lady LeeAnn more than life itself. Really. That’s not an overstatement. If she were suddenly taken from me, I would have a hard time finding a reason to get up in the morning. Yes, of course I know that my relationship with Jesus is more important, and His calling for me is to be more than a husband, but you know what I mean. But the point is that even with LeeAnn, it is sometimes *work* to get along with her. That’s normal. That’s expected. No two people are *ever* going to easily get along 24/7.
But Paul said that we are to *work* to get along with our brothers and sisters. What happens then? We live in peace. Now, who doesn’t want that?
What does that mean for us in this political season? Personally, I have chosen to restrain myself on social media. Sure, I have very strong opinions. But I will not add to the negativity that is so prevalent online. Believe me, it isn’t always easy to do. But I would rather keep the doors of friendship open, and therefore the doors of opportunity to share Jesus with someone who needs Him when the Holy Spirit tells me it’s time to do so, than destroy that opportunity by posting my political opinions. Let’s face it…very few, if any, minds are changed in a FB argument. Right?
“Work to get along with others. Live in peace.”