2020 is the worst.I have had so many feelings this year, and have started a lot of posts about them, but have yet to complete even one. This is partially because I have been overwhelmed by what 2020 has been, and frankly have been trying to battle newfound anxiety as an extrovert living in quarantine. I do not know how you see the world, but as I write this, one word is coming to mind… divided.
Entering 2020 I figured our country would end the year fairly divided, since that’s what most election years look like anyway. However, I obviously had no concept of how this year would turnout…
The year started with an impeachment trial that divided the nation. Then COVID-19 hit, and we were divided over response to this pandemic. Then the murder of George Floyd seemed to draw a line down the middle of our country, separated by 2 hashtags: #blacklivesmatter and #alllivesmatter. Now, at least in my home state, a mandatory mask order leaves us still divided.
There is so much divisiveness and negativity out in media, that honestly, I can’t take it. Turning on the news sucks. Facebook sucks. Fighting and name calling because you disagree sucks. Division sucks.
But here is the good news: we are over halfway through 2020! We can begin to write a new narrative; one that doesn’t suck. I think the rest of 2020 is going to be full of opportunities to be divided, and my prayer is that all of us act with incredible humility, and pursue unity. I wonder how much of a difference it could make if instead of trying to be right, we tried to love others really well and stay untied?
This time is especially important for believers. The Bible is full of passages about unity, but I will leave you with just one thought. In Romans 14, Paul writes about a preference of choosing to eat “unclean” foods or not. Paul says that it ultimately it doesn’t matter what your preference is, but what matters is loving others really well. He says this:
19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.
Earlier, in Romans 12, Paul says something very similar about how to respond to evil:
18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Here is the point: We will never agree with everyone, but our disagreement is never justification for a lack of love. We cannot justify our own hate because of what others believe or think. Our job is to love people, not seek ways out of loving others. We are to seek unity, not seek Facebook debates. We must be better.
I ended last year writing a blog entitled “In Repair” where I discussed that we are all learning and growing, and that process may be messy, but it is incredibly human. I think we all have an opportunity to love others really well by choosing humility, and extending grace and compassion on others who think differently than us. We do not know everything about them, but we know they were made in the image of God, and that is all that should matter to us.
We can do this. It is going to require that we make changes to how we think, but that’s what learning and growing is all about.
Trust the process. Take your next step. Now is your moment.