On loving those other people

At the time of writing this post. Mitt Romney has conceded and Obama is giving his victory speech. But as I look at CNN’s election results, it looks like the popular vote is going to go 50-50. This means that one out of every two people probably voted the opposite of the way you did, or the way that you would vote.

How many of those people do you know?

How many of those people would you call you friends?

Every four years I get really sad about how divided the United States can get, and how vitriolic we can get against the other. But I also realize that most of my close friends have pretty similar views to my own, and while I may not lean towards the vitriolic, I’m not a shining example of love either.

And at risk of sounding too much like a hippie, love is what it’s all about, particularly if you are a follower of Christ as I profess to be.

In Romans 12, the writer instructs us to not be conformed to the rest of the world, but instead to be transformed. Then he goes on to tell the following

Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

It seems to me that if a mark of being transformed by Christ is the ability to love and to bless those who are persecuting you, and if Paul is writing this during a time when persecution involved hungry lions and whips, then what is a political disagreement.

It also seems to me that the “necessity” of hating one’s “enemy”, of considering those who disagree you as misinformed, stupid or malevolent is another way that we are captive to the brokenness of the world.

So here is my hope for myself and my hope for you. May we find ways in which we can love, rejoice and mourn with the approximately 50% of people who voted in a way that we consider inconceivable. Let us honor them above ourselves, bless them when they disagree with us, rejoice in their happiness and share in their grief.

Featured Image Credit:DonkeyHotey