Perhaps, being human, we have always fought with one another. Perhaps, sharing the brokenness of the world, we have always been polarized, conflicted, angry, and afraid. Perhaps. But our divisions in society and in personal relationships do seem so much more on edge right now. The media is relentless. Our digital world never releases us from the conflict. We seem to be escalating, and the options at the end of the journey are at times terrifying.
In such a world, I believe Jesus has placed his followers to bear the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22). But how?
Years ago, our denomination (the Presbyterian Church USA) adopted a statement called, "Seeking to be Faithful Together: Guidelines for Presbyterians During Times of Disagreement." While the entire document is helpful, I thought I would share the main steps recommended for all of us. We may not be able to stop the angry rhetoric of the political campaign. We certainly cannot manage the frustrated emotional reactions of others in our lives. But we can manage our own behavior, with the goal of representing Jesus well...continue reading here.