We Can Do This.
Two days ago our country participated in an historic election that was predicted to see the highest voter turnout since 1908. At the surface, the process remained mostly familiar, but just below the surface lie a tension and uneasiness that our nation has possibly not felt since the Civil War. 2020 has been a year that has brought challenge upon challenge, and yet the largest of those challenges has not only been any physical calamity that has befallen us, but also the psychological and emotional reality of living in an increasingly divided culture. Neighbors have been pitted against neighbors. Family members have found themselves with little to talk about. Friends have been “unfriended” because of opinions posted that have been interpreted as hostile to another’s beliefs.
By now, it is possible that those tensions are still very much with us. At the time of writing, it remained unclear as to how long it would be before we would know the results of our election. Some will be excited about the results. Others will be angry. Still others will be mourning the displays of hostility and rancor that our evident through our discourse with one another.
I am writing today to offer a word of advice from holy scripture for all of us as we seek to live together during these difficult times.
In 1 Peter 5, Peter writes:
And all of you must clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for
“God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.
I am sharing this passage because I believe that it provides for us a pathway forward. Throughout scripture, we find the call to humility as the gateway to grace. It is our ability to submit ourselves to the authority of God that enables us to walk in obedience. It is our ability to see ourselves as fallen creatures that enables us to receive the forgiveness that God so freely gives. And it is the ability to see ourselves as equal recipients of that grace that allows us to treat one another with love.
C.S. Lewis wrote, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”
Allow me to call us to humility during these days of anxiety and tension. Now is not the time to wave the flag of our favorite politician. Now is not the time to post victorious rants on social media. Now is not the time to laugh in the face of those who are sitting in disappointment.
Rather, now is the time to love. Now is the time to listen. Now is the time to pray. Now is the time to think less of ourselves, so that we can think of others more. This week will mark either the beginning of a deeper divide in our nation or it will mark the beginning of healing. The choice is up to us.
We can do this. We can stand together again, and we can learn to love one another again, by the grace of God. This Sunday, we will be praying for our nation, which means praying for and with those who have opposing views. May God humble us, that we might live together.