This series of articles is intended to help the Christian wade through some of the biblical ethics for talking about politics God’s way. Many people, Christians included, merely think about politics, and not how we should speak or not speak concerning them. I hope that many Christians will take part in making the commitment to discuss political views God’s way. Links to the previous posts: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.
- HEARD BETTER THROUGH CALM TALK: Politics often becomes a hot-button topic. If we are talking to someone we disagree with, there are many things that can light our fire. We have already looked at the fact that our anger does not produce righteousness. Let’s also consider that if we attempt to keep the conversation calm, we will be more likely to be heard. If we think we have the truth, we want people to hear it. If they are angry they won’t listen. Proverbs 15:1 says, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Now Proverbs provide general wisdom. It is not a guarantee that if we act calm and respectable others will also. In general though, if we have a calm spirit, this will calm the spirit of others, and therefore they will be able to listen to what we have to say. If we are going to talk politics with someone, let’s commit as Christians to control emotions as we do.
- DON’T TAKE OFFENSE TO EVERYTHING: We are inundated with information. This technological era has brought us many conveniences, but also much remorse. Because of the current state of affairs, we are constantly bombarded with things we do not believe, maybe even fight not to be heinous and ungodly. Because as Americans we take politics so personally, it can feel like we are personally becoming attacked on a daily basis. God calls us to not take everything personally. If we do, we will live in constant discouragement, frustration, and even paranoia. Ecclesiastes 7:21 says, “Do not take heart all the things that people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you.” If we take everything we hear about politics to heart, we will have no hope. Our focus should be on Jesus and His Kingdom. Focus on that, otherwise you will live feeling constantly offended.
- TALK DIRECTLY TO SOMEONE: This is something which we should really intend to practice through the political season, especially as things get tense. If we are talking, especially online, things can get misconstrued. We can’t read facial expressions. We don’t know when we have pushed someone too far. I’m not saying that I have not been guilty of this before. But I’ve been practicing this and it has really improved my relationships with people and even my ability to convince others of things which I believe are true. There are many passages in Scripture which talk about the fact that we should talk to someone directly, especially when they have offended us. This principal is on center stage in Matthew 18. Go to the person who offended you. There are times where I’m having a political discussion on social media, and realize this is either headed towards getting heated or personal. At that time I usually just send that person a personal message. I’ve even called people on the phone to make sure that our relationship is good, and that we don’t misunderstand each other. Maybe I’ll even take that post down if it looks like the conversation is divisive. With many people jumping into the fray in a discussion, it can often become unproductive. Talking to people directly often brings better results.
How would talking calmer help us better be heard in the truth we are speaking? If you decided not to take offense to everything, how would things change your perspective on life? What would your relationships look like, and how would you better be heard if, when you saw things getting testy in a post, you spoke directly to that person?
Thanks for taking time to read this Maddening Theology post. If you enjoyed this content you can find Pastor Tim’s sermons at www.cornerstoneforestcity.org. You can also join us at 520 Marion St. Browndale, PA 18421 on Sundays at 10 AM. To make following the blog easier you can also register. You can also join us on Facebook at Cornerstone Forest City. Also, don’t forget to download our APP on iTunes or Googleplay.