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I have recently been having deep conversations with people about how our choices impact the world around us. They become ripples that move us closer to God or become a separation in our hearts.

The world around us is going crazy. So much fear and hate are pouring into our streets causing division and violence . How do we as believers respond? I have had some people tell me that to not embrace one group’s ideals is to stand against them. I have spoken with people whose families are divided by hurt and anger because some people embrace a perspective while others don’t. I have seen people break fellowship because of a disagreement and offense. Of course, we have all seen the horrible violence in many areas of our country and it is heartbreaking. So I have been praying and seeking God in what He would have us do. It has saddened my heart to the point of tears to see the church fall into the snares that satan has set. We are supposed to be His representatives in the earth but we are many times getting caught up in the emotions of an issue or perspective instead of asking God how we are to respond.

As citizens of America we are so often trained to stand up for what we believe in, to have strong opinions and to be independent. However as citizens of heaven we are called to lay down our lives, to love, to honor and to prefer our brother. Yes, even at the cost of our opinions and “rights”. There is no room in a Christian’s heart for independence. We are all dependent on the grace and mercy of Jesus. We were at odds with Him when we were still sinners but instead of breaking away He sacrificed so that He could choose us. How then, as children of God, can we do anything less for others? When we allow strife and seeds of offense and anger to take root in our heart they become the ripples that divide us from God. When we feel we have to justify our decision to walk away from someone because of division let me ask did Jesus do this when it was us?

I know that these are hard times and that emotions run deep in society whether it be an issue of religion, racism or political differences but church we are commanded to love, to sacrifice, and to prefer others. Please hear my heart. I don’t think people should be a doormat for others nor do I dismiss concerns over the safety of people but I do think we too easily demand the “right” to stand our ground or to prove our point even at the cost of broken hearts and lives. Let us decide to love, to obey the gift that Jesus gave first to us. Let us allow the choice of our heart to create ripples of God’s love that supplant the angry rhetoric, the false narratives and the division. If we embrace our place as ambassadors for Jesus then we will walk as He walked and the world will be impacted.

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