I saw something terrible on January 6. I watched in amazement as free Americans stormed the offices of our government. I was blown away.
Many people who claim to support soon-to-be former President Trump claim to be Christians. And maybe they are. We are all capable of some pretty bad things. But I wonder if we need a new name for the people who follow Jesus. Because of my own temper, I know people who follow Jesus can react in anger. I know we can do some pretty stupid things. But as followers of Jesus, I hope we can follow Jesus more and the crowd less. Anger is contagious. But those of us who claim to follow Jesus have the Holy Spirit to give us the strength to go against the grain.
In addition, each person in a civil republic has expectations. We can’t expect things of others that we don’t expect of ourselves. We tolerate much in a nation that defends free speech. Free speech means we are free to say what we think. We are free to protest, But free speech ends when we damage property or cause physical harm to others.
Followers of Jesus know the command that we love one another. I saw little that looked like love yesterday, except in the response of the capital police. It is love that creates order. In Philippians 2, the Apostle Paul tells us that Jesus existed in the form of God, but he did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped. He humbled himself to be born as a baby to a poor family, subjected himself to our world and even the Roman government and was crucified on a cross for us.
As Americans, we have a responsibility. Ours is the first government formed to be of, by and for the people. But as citizens of Heaven, we have a greater responsibility, to represent God’s kingdom in our world. If you follow Jesus, please pray and ask God to show you if or how you might have contributed to this escalation. Then ask God to change the hearts of those of us who follow him, so we can show that Jesus is the answer to our world’s problems, not violence or bickering. Where do we need to trust God more? Where do we need to model the life of Jesus, who, laid down his life for us? Ask God to show you where you can demonstrate humility. Our job isn’t to change the election results. Our job is to make Jesus visible in the world. Let’s be people who provide a peaceful, orderly alternative to the anger and hate we see. We can’t fight disorder, and unrest with more disorder and unrest.
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