Loving through disagreements
Sunday night, I was watching the Ravens play the Patriots, and something struck me while watching the game. The men on the team where exhibiting true sportsmanship and comradery. I watch a fair bit of football, college and professional, so I’ve seen some ugly games and some snoozers. For the most part, I pay very little attention to the interaction between players but for some reason, this game stuck out to me. Opposing team members where helping each other off the ground after a tackle. They were giving each other high fives for good plays, patting each other on the back. When a quarterback was tackled, they shared in helmet pats to each other. It was more than just once or twice but throughout the game. I made a comment to my husband that it was nice to see opposing sides getting along.
It makes me think about where we are in our world- especially when our humanness (sin) gets the best of us. There are so many times that I see people on opposing sides of any given issue, and they aren’t civil with each other. Immediately the idea that they are wrong, and there for less than, is something that is increasing. Go on any social media platform and you see it in the comments section. Given that that we are in the midst of an election, it has increased. Just like football, it is easy to pile on when someone expresses a different view on something.
As Christians, we are given very clear instructions about how we interact with others. 1 John 4:19-21 says:
19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Those who say, “I love God,” and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. 21 The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.
We don’t have to agree with each other but we are commanded to love, and when we love someone, we don’t treat them like they don’t matter. When we treat others as we want to be treated, we begin to reshape the community we are in.
It makes me all think of one of my favorite camp songs They Will Know We Are Christians by Our Love. The words of the entire song are simple, it is right there in the title but a great reminder nonetheless.
There is something powerful about a bunch of kids sitting around a campfire belting out the words:
We will work with each other, we will work side by side We will work with each other, we will work side by side And we'll guard each man's dignity and save each man's pride And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
How would someone know you are a Christian? Are you working with each other, building the Kingdom together?
Grace and Peace-