God’s style of love can move past division

When I look upon America, I see a much different nation than I grew up in. From my vantage point, I see more division than I ever knew existed.

Perhaps I am just naive, but I thought I grew up in a country where people had a desire for the common good of their neighbors, a land where people sacrificed for others, not out of political mandate, but based on the “Golden Rule” — doing unto others as they would have them do unto themselves.

Much has been said about how divided we are these days. Certainly, I don’t need to document the differences, for they are obvious. Just open your favorite social media site and you will see neighbor pitted against neighbor and brother against brother.

Many are discouraged by this. This isn’t the America I once knew and loved. Where has compassion gone? Have pride and selfishness won the day?

As a Christian I am compelled to pray about how I am to respond to the division and brokenness of America. I would ask that you join me in prayer. Let us ask God for wisdom and direction as we seek to be the hands and feet of Christ in a world gone mad.

Perhaps it is time to go back to that old question that was so popular decades ago: “What would Jesus do?” And once we can answer that question, I would suggest that WE DO what Jesus would do.

We are a people in desperate need of compassion. Matthew 9:36 reads, “When he (Jesus) saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like a sheep without a shepherd.”

If I am honest, I am often hard-hearted and angry toward people who are “harassed and helpless.” I am quick to dismiss and quicker still to build a wall and consider them my adversary.

This should not be so. If I call myself a Christian, then I am to respond as Christ would respond. And it is obvious to me that he would have responded with compassion, even toward those who stood on the other side of issues that he desired to change. May God move my heart, and the hearts of all those who proclaim Christ, to be compassionate toward others.

I must conclude these thoughts by asking the question, “What will it take to change America?” Is the answer to be more active politically? It seems that the political approach leads us further and further apart and division increases. Yet, it sounds naïve and shallow to simply say, “Can’t we just love each other?”

Though it does sound too simple to say we need to love others more, I believe the answer to our plight is exactly that … we are called to love and love can melt the hardest heart. So, let us love in the same way that God has loved us. Perhaps the Apostle Paul said it best: “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).

Mark Adcock is pastor of New Life Christian Fellowship in Fortville. This weekly column is writte

n by local clergy members. Send comments to dr-editorial@greenfieldreporter.com.