Mar. 5, 2018

"Is it worth losing friends over?"


The past 18 months in our nation have been difficult. Between politics and guns and the politics of guns, I’ve grown more and more disillusioned. I know many of you feel the same; perhaps for opposite reasons.

I realize some of you have the ability to turn off the news or scroll right past anything controversial. My husband and I have conversations all the time about the pros and cons of speaking up versus laying low. I think we’ve concluded that a) some are created to speak up and some are created to lay low; b) we must choose our battles wisely; and, c) there is a right time for everything under Heaven (Ecclesiastes 3).

On one hand, for example, the recent sexual abuse revelations in the world of women’s gymnastics. Many people asked in bewilderment, “Why didn’t they speak up sooner?” Duh. Speaking up is hard to do in a society where women are asked to be nice, be kind, be quiet, and be agreeable.

I admire anyone who can ignore controversy believing it will go away. Unfortunately, experience has revealed to me that steering clear of the hard subjects only make those hard subjects more difficult.  Ignoring controversy never makes it go away. It only delays the fight.

My daddy always taught us that there isn’t a single political figure or political issue that is worth losing friends over. I need to be honest with you. I’m not so sure these days. I keep remembering Joshua drawing a line in the sand and saying, “Choose this day whom you will serve.” (Joshua 24:15)

Life is full of choices.

Thankfully, true friends can stand on different sides of any issue and remain friends. The key word is “true.” Shallow friendships have no roots to hold them in place when controversy occurs. I think we’d have to be living on another planet to not realize this President and the issues of guns in America are dividing us.

I encourage all of us, who call ourselves Christians, to ask ourselves if our stand supports the teachings of Jesus. We cannot separate our spiritual beliefs from our political stands. Well, we can. But, doing so waters down our witness. When we go against the teachings of Christ to get what we want, we’ve not only hurt our personal witness, we’ve marred the image of Christ.

Christian, where does Jesus stand in the gun debate? I’m going to ask that again because I want it to soak in: Where does Jesus stand in the gun debate?

Get behind Him. He is always right. To do so, we must think and act above the noise.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9