When did we think it was ok to be condescending, mean-critical, hostile towards others, or despise others who have differing views (guns, abortion, party lines, lgbt, vaccines, conspiracy theories, blm, cons/dems, masks)?
As Christ followers, when did we think it was ok to not be tender or compassionate, always abounding in love?
I come from hot blooded generations. I had family members who hit a sibling because they made a joke about them in front others. Knocked them out cold.
I’m not excluding myself from this ugly list of contempt.
Jesus lived, died, and lived again that He might be Lord over the range of our lives and deaths, giving us freedom from the petty tyrannies against one another (Romans 14).
This is where injustice sits.
This is where social media spats sit.
Hostility towards one another.
One pastoral theologian says that whatever we don’t transform, we transmit.
So today, I’m asking you to pray for me: that God would heal and transform my heart of hostility, contempt towards others (and my own self).
The way we treat others is a direct, visible expression of how we view God and ourselves. And if we treat others with contempt, who do we view as critical? God and our self.
So we pray for the God of tender compassion, abounding in love. We pray to know the God of justice who liberates the oppressed and the oppressor. We pray for a radical love that enters into hostility, where the Holy Spirit transforms systems and inner systems. Where can have new words and images of God, others, and ourselves.
We may have differing views, but FOR GOD SO LOVED the world.
Lord, lead us not into the temptation of hostility towards our brothers and sisters.
And deliver us from the evil of contempt in our country.
For Yours is the kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory.