When It’s Hard Being a Christian
The voting is over. The election has been decided. The politicians on both sides have said the conciliatory things they are expected to say. Yet emotions abound. Protests have begun. And the “divide” in our society remains. This is when it’s hard to be a Christian.
Why? Because Jesus calls us “to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). We are to pray “for kings and all who are in high positions” (1 Timothy 2:2). For many, the instinct to love and pray is not what’s on our minds.
This may be because we assume that if we love and pray for our enemies, we are in someway diminishing our love for our allies and friends. But this is not the choice that love demands. Love is not a vote to show who we favor, nor is it a way to gloss over our differences. Love is a bridge for change, not an abdication of it. While we love and pray for our enemies, we must still love, pray for, and stand with those who occupy insecure and fragile places in our society.
Martin Luther King, Jr. knew this well. He used love as a bulwark to protect the vulnerable and as a bridge to his enemies to effect change. He said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
It’s not easy being a Christian in these times. May we all find hope in drawing upon our faith and God’s love as we seek a way forward.