I shared a post from The Colson center the other day. It was about the Equality Act and what it will mean for Christians. It wasn’t meant as an attack against anyone – just a safeguard for those who share my values. I was called a bigot for sharing.
That made me very sad, and the person who said that, clearly doesn’t know me well. They were more concerned about showing the hatred in their heart simply because I disagreed with them. I much prefer to choose love. And, for the record, I love and respect you no matter what you choose to believe. I see you just the way you are. Mom and dad always taught us kids that we don’t have to agree, but we do have to respect and that is a lesson I will not diverge from.
The definition of “enable” is “to give (someone or something) the authority or means to do something.” I got to thinking about all the things we enable these days…
We enable hate.
We enable pride.
We enable irresponsibility.
We enable misbehavior.
We enable exclusivity.
We enable inconsistency.
We enable fear.
We enable unforgiveness.
We enable blame.
We enable lies.
We enable greed.
We enable rebellion…and that kind of sums up our world right now. We are in rebellion and we are enabling all the ugly that goes along with it.
I’ve been reading a lot from the Old Testament lately and have been reminded of how God’s people often rebelled against Him. They would turn from His goodness and deliberately choose things that were selfishly pleasing, knowing it was against God’s design. I can only imagine how this grieved God’s heart, who eventually punished His people. It then became a cycle where the people recognized His punishment, turned from their ways, got back on track…and then slipped again.
I’ve wondered if we are now part of this cycle?
Our world seems to be going against His design and when someone disagrees with that, we are seen as the enemy and attacked. Instead of attacking back, we need to look at people through the lens of Jesus. I’ve said that before.
I see the person who called me a bigot. I see him and I still love him. I was angry with him because I thought he knew me better, but I love him. I did not engage him in a facebook discussion war. I accept that we have differing views. Not everyone has to agree with me. The world would be a bland place to live if we all had the same train of thought, causes, and beliefs. But even in our disagreement, we must be people who enable grace. And that is what I will choose.
I listened to a sermon this week where the pastor said, “We have a choice on how to represent Jesus.” In my office, I clapped my hands and shouted, “preach” because I knew he was spot on – and I also knew I often fail. If we are going to represent Jesus well, we must be people who enable grace. Let me share with you what this pastor shared about grace.
Read that again… and again, if you must. Grace is giving people space for God to move – not space for us to change someone’s mind. You see, God knows us well. Each and every one of us. He knows our hearts. He knows our desires. He knows our hopes and dreams and mistakes and fears. He knows every detail of our life and he does not waste one thing. Not one word. Not one friendship. Not one situation. Not one choice. We may not agree with someone’s lifestyle or convictions, but we can still love people and walk alongside them as we watch God write their story.
We have the power to stop the hatred and fear and greed and lies by choosing to go against the current of culture. By choosing to get on our knees and pray rather than to responding with equal hatred and opposition.
We can enable love.
We can enable joy.
We can enable grace.
We can enable God.
Let’s do more of that. Let’s share our hearts and be okay with the people who disagree. Bashing one another, senseless fighting, name calling, and finger pointing will not provide open space for God. It will only create unsafe, unhealthy spaces that are void of His presence. Let’s not try to change people, thoughts, ideas, or agendas. Let’s link arms, look at each other with grace, and give God the space He needs to unfold abundant life in Him. Let’s remember we are all on a journey.
~ D 😊
PS: If you’d like to listen to a great sermon series on sexuality and today’s culture, check out the podcast and sermon series for McLean Bible Church.