Cover 2016-10-23

INSTEAD

by Benjamin Headrick

I find it amusing how appalled people are at the behavior of our candidates when all I've seen from the shocked and appalled is the continued belittling and insulting of people who hold differing views. The candidates are merely a reflection of our society. If you wish to see a country that's different, then the difference needs to start with you. Change starts with oneself not others. Christ didn't save and change lives by only telling people they need to be different than they are, instead he said “follow me, let me be the example.” He led by his actions.

Words are meaningless without action. If you want to see less fear-driven propaganda, stop posting and sharing it. If you want to see less mudslinging politics, stop perpetuating it. If you want to see more love and kindness, look for such, and commit it yourself. Continuing to complain about how horrible this or that person or candidate is, only serves to further spread hate. It’s okay to disagree, it’s okay to be dissatisfied, upset or angry with a situation, but (especially if you claim to be Christian) it is not okay to spread hate. It is our duty to be a light to this world, a beacon showing Christ’s love to everyone. I challenge all who read this to look for the love where it shows and to show it ourselves. Please stop this cycle of hate as it only divides. Instead, love those around you and even those you disagree with.

1 Corinthians 13, “the love chapter” lays out a good description of what love is, and how we are perceived when we claim the things we believe without love. I've found that keeping this chapter in mind helps immensely. When someone is ranting about this or that, be patient and listen to them. Often they are frustrated and need to vent. Do not lash back if you disagree or are offended, instead be kind and understanding. Don't envy what others may possess or accomplish, instead encourage them to continue to better themselves. Instead of continuing to insult and dishonor those you may disagree with, look to those you wish to emulate and share their story with those around you. Instead of trampling those around you under foot as you reach for your goals, look to those around you and see how you can bring them along in your successes. When someone wrongs you, don't hold it against them and be angry with the person till your anger turns to bitterness and hate. Instead, find a way you can move past the event and forgive. Remember to be truthful, when you want to lie. To protect those around you, even the ones you don't like. To trust the untrustworthy, and to persevere in the hope that by showing Christ through your actions to those around you, they will allow Christ’s love to change them.