Being Christ to those you disagree with is more important now than ever before. Every serious Christ-follower should pour love and seek peace in the marketplace, in the community, and especially in regards to our current political climate. Choose to be Christ instead of arguing your point. That is what Jesus would do. And that is what I tried to do recently.
Being Christ To Those You Disagree With
She told me on the phone that she was an atheist. She said she was raised evangelical Christian and that she made her decision at the age of 12 that she wanted nothing to do with church or God. “I was the kind of kid that other parents warned their kids about,” she said. “But I didn’t care, I couldn’t stand their judgmental, holier than thou attitudes…they made me sick.” She told me several more times during our initial phone conversation that Trump supporters irritated her, that she despised everything Trump stood for, and that she couldn’t stand evangelical Christians.
I did not tell her that I voted for Trump, or that I was an evangelical Christian. In my mind, these were non-issues. She was in need, and I was there to try to help meet her need. As far as I was concerned my political and religious views did not have any bearing on my ability to help her – and hopefully on her ability to receive my help.
But just because my personal and religious views generally do not enter into the type of meeting I was about to have with this woman, I still did what I always do before meeting with someone. I prayed for her and for our meeting. I asked Jesus to go before me. To fill the room we were going to meet in with His presence and to prepare both our hearts and minds so that His perfect will would be accomplished.
We met for the first time at a Denny’s restaurant near her home. She talked and I listened. She recounted for me how she had coped thus far on her grief journey, and her angst at having to come face-to-face with family members who were avid Trump supporters and evangelical Christians. I offered her practical suggestions on dealing with any individual or group that we find ourselves at odds with, and I shared some of the Grief Recovery Tools with her. After the hour we spent together was up, she told me how grateful she was. How much our talk had helped her, and how she would very much like to meet with me again.
Despite my conservative dress and long hair, I don’t think it ever occurred to her that I was part of one of the groups that she hated. She had felt love and acceptance from me. A listening ear. And a compassionate heart. And at that moment in her life that is what she needed. Our differing political and religious views had no bearing whatsoever.
I may never have the opportunity to directly share the gospel message with her. But of one thing I am confident. On that particular day, by the grace of God alone, she met a Christian who treated her with respect and dignity and made no effort to argue political stance, religious beliefs, or differences in world views.
Do I long for her to know Christ as I do? Of course I do! But for now, it is enough that I am able to be a living epistle. My prayer is that one day, she will have read enough of me that it might peak her interest and open a door for that most sacred of all conversations.
How about you? How are you doing with being Christ to those you disagree with?