Navigating Controversy With Love
We all navigate controversial issues as Christians. It’s almost impossible to avoid divisive topics, whether they’re coming up in conversation or just part of an never-ending stream of opinions on social media. I’ve been invited many times to have an opinion I know will offend the people around me. As Christians, our mandate is to love well. I find there are times to speak up, and times to stay silent. So what does love look like when we’re having the hard conversations?
Recently, I read John 6 and was struck by this sentence “Will you follow me for the words I speak or the spirit of God on my life?” Jesus had just said some of the most offensive words in the new testament – “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you don’t have life in yourselves.” No-one really understood. But Jesus said it anyway. He wasn’t concerned with how he was received. He was concerned with responding to God – and this is our key, too.
Responding to God
How do we follow the example of Jesus in how we navigate the issues that are coming up today? There are certain topics that will always get us fired up, especially when values we hold close are challenged. In these situations, its wise to ask yourself – “am I reacting to something I disagree with, or responding to the heart of God?” Fear and anger will never bring life, only more confusion. We are called to be like Jesus and reveal the Father to the earth. This means rising above the confusion and seeking the wisdom of the Holy Spirit in every situation. We must be people who do what He is doing and believe that’s enough – there are no effective solutions outside of God’s plan in any given moment.
Be lead by the shepherd, not by the sheep
I sometimes have to ask myself who I’m writing for when I begin a social media post. I make sure never to filter my posts through the opinions of others. This way, I keep my priorities straight. When I speak, whether it’s on a platform, to a friend or posting on Facebook, my highest priority is to speak what will please the heart of God, not the heart of man. Of course, I never want to bulldoze anybody or operate without compassion, but I also don’t want to hold back truth out of fear. More than anything, I want to be lead by the voice of God. I challenge you to ask yourself today – who is leading you?
As we navigate the many issues coming up today, let’s rise above the chaos of opinion and instead respond to His voice. Let’s demonstrate hope in an all-powerful king and partner with peace in any storm. When we follow His voice, we follow love. Let’s be people who are lead by the Shepherd and not by the sheep.