April 27, 2016
It is a challenge to deal honestly with issues without attacking the person. As parents, we try to separate the offense from the child so that we deal with a bad action or attitude but do not call the child a bad person.
I have pondered this in light of John 3:16: “God so loved the world that He gave Jesus.” Does the “world” include every person? Does God put anyone in an “exclusion” category that is beyond His love and Salvation through Jesus?
Going down a list of whom God certainly loves, I started with family. I am confident He loves all of my family. And friends – no question there. What about any person who does good deeds for others? I am sure they are included. And people who do hurtful things to other people? Jesus prayed that those killing Him would be forgiven – that is rather inclusive.
Do God’s love and His offer of Salvation include government leaders and political candidates – all of them? How would He respond to those who deny His existence or disregard His teachings? If we asked Him how we should feel about a candidate with whom we disagree, what would He say?
Mature people agree that we need to deal with issues while preserving the dignity of the person as much as possible. This applies to all relationships – marriage, family, business, church, education and government. It seems this would include political candidates as well.
So I am asking myself today, “Is Jesus comfortable while listening to my thoughts and verbal discussions about political candidates? It takes discipline for me to separate issues from persons. But if God’s love was demonstrated on the basis of what I say and do, I would not qualify: “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
If we had the opportunity today to talk with Jesus about our political feelings, and if we expressed them the way we do to our friends, how would He respond? I need to ponder this question – a lot!
Pastor Bill Ehmann