The noise level is still high. Follow the CDC guidelines or question them? Should one wear a mask or not? Is it compulsory to get the injection or a choice? Whatever the answers to these questions, too often the tendency is to demonize and even stigmatize one with the opposite point of view. Emotions run high and more division gets stirred up.
What would singer/songwriter Alan Jackson say today? During a different crisis, he wrote, “I’m just a singer of simple songs. I’m not a real political man. I watch CNN, but I’m not sure I can tell you the diff’rence between Iraq and Iran. But I know Jesus and I talk to God and I remember this from when I was young. Faith, hope and love are some good things He gave us. And the greatest is love.” Calming words in September, 2001.
Through these things, we have received God’s great and valuable promises, so we might escape the corruption of worldly desires and share in the divine nature. To achieve this, you will need to add virtue to your faith, and then knowledge to your virtue; to knowledge, add discipline; to discipline, add endurance; to endurance, add godliness; to godliness, add affection for others as sisters and brothers; and to affection, at last, add love. – 2Peter 1:4-7. Calming words from the first century for today. Life is a journey in learning how to love. When man relegates love to a feeling, all things get viewed through a prism of emotions – what one says, how one acts, what one’s income is, where one lives, one’s tone of voice or the color of one’s skin. As one walks into the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky, a very clear statement is made – “One Race, One Blood.” By God’s design, this is where we begin and where we end. In between, man must mature – adding virtue to faith is becoming more Christ-like every day; adding knowledge is knowing God and His triune nature; adding discipline is the strength to tune out the noise and tune in to Christ; adding endurance is embracing circumstances in context of God’s way of communicating; adding godliness is living a life centered in God; affection is seeing others in an eternal light; and love is sharing in the divine nature in this world.
What to do? A generation is watching. The charge is to mature as a man of faith, adding what needs to be added to grow in the ability to love others, to share the divine nature in this world. In marriage, I was once told that when you understand willingness to die for your wife, all else will fall in line. That charged me to move to a new level of maturity in the marriage relationship. In life, once we understand responsibility to love, to share in the divine nature in this world, all else will fall in line – we will navigate through divisions and the worldly noise will move to the background.
Prayer guide: Thank You Lord for Your word and for the example You set. I confess that I am not a good listener. In most conversations my mind is made up and I am thinking about what I have to say. Forgive me. Help me be an empathetic listener that is able to navigate through divisive language, that knows what to do when arguments get stirred up. Equip me to understand responsibility to love, to share in the divine nature in my marriage, family and beyond. That is the dad You call me to be and that’s the dad the next generation needs to see. Amen.
A faithful father listens well and navigates through divisive talk.