“…Let us stop just saying we love each other; let us really show it by our actions.” 1 John 3:18 (NLT)
It’s that time of year again when we are giving much thought to picking out our turkey…no, not a Thanksgiving meat, but an election candidate. Sadly, like many things these days, we have lost statesmen and are left with mere politicians. Jacques Barzun states, “Political correctness does not legislate tolerance, it only organizes hatred.” Have you tagged anyone lately with rudeness, impatience, or dehumanizing comments? Hatred, judgment, condescending attitudes, and indifference are often easier to spot than hunter orange in our fields of influence. This time of year does lend itself to headin’ to the woods and labeling our time there as “hunting”. But for the Christian, it is always open season not only for wildlife, but for humankind.
As we break out the sweaters, vote for the candidates, and take in a fall foliage drive, may we also schedule our Father’s prompting to love through serving? Go ahead, pack the camping gear, wear the football jerseys, bake the tried-and-true holiday recipes, but don’t limit your huddle to only your gaggle. Commit to God’s kind of loving…not a cafeteria line of easy choices, but a feast of unexpected delicacies. Love is a package that includes your favorites plus those that stretch us and change us…and isn’t that the point?
Max Lucado says, “God calls us to a higher, more noble concern. Not ‘What are my right?’ but ‘What is loving?'” Decency, compassion, mercy, and kindness are never “out of season”. In fact, especially with the election issues at the forefront of most conversations these days, it’s the perfect opportunity to be a good neighbor (Matthew 5:43, not “State Farm is there”) and imitate God. Promoting what you love instead of bashing what you hate might be a starting point. (Heads up, plot twist coming…) Be aware that your approach is perhaps more important than your information. Don’t be out of step, out of control, or out of line when you attempt to love and respond to others. Throat punches tend to show up in moments led by our self-serving promotions. Jesus loved by believing, hoping, and enduring. That’s our example. No trending polls, no election numbers, or generational topics matter. Just Him…that’s a guaranteed outcome we can all give thanks for!