From A Friend

Now I know many of us are caught up with the election and the primary next week. But I think we need to step back and reevaluate our hearts as Christians. I have heard many things in the last few months that would shame many of us if they were replayed. I’m as guilty as the rest in not stating some of my concerns and convictions in a more loving way.
We as Christians have a duty to our family, our friends, and our church to encourage and edify one another; Lift one another up and build each other with a firm biblical backing at every trial that may arise.
“Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.” Romans 14:19
In 1 Thessalonians 5:11 it also states, “Therefore comfort each other and edify one another just as you also are doing.”
Matthew Henry’s commentary on 1 Thessalonians 5:11 states, “As Christians are lively stones built up together a spiritual house, they should endeavour to promote the good of the whole church by promoting the work of grace in one another. And it is the duty of every one of us to study that which is for the edification of those with whom we converse, to please all men for their real profit. We should communicate our knowledge and experiences one to another. We should join in prayer and praise one with another. We should set a good example one before another. And it is the duty of those especially who live in the same vicinity and family thus to comfort and edify one another.”
I have seen “clicks” where you have to fit in with one or another. At times it’s because one friend disagrees with another. This leaves the rest to divide their allegiances to one side or the other. At the moment I have seen “factions” happening between the Mitt Romney constituents, the Ron Paul fans and even Hucklebee supporters.
Discussing a topic we disagree on is fine as long as we do all things with loving-kindness, knowing when to back off or when to change the subject. Friendships are delicate and at times it can be like walking a tightrope. Particularly when fierce storms come that knock us off balance and could potentially destroy friendships if we’re not careful.
Yes, I have put my friendship with all on the line and stated the facts as I see them. I do enjoy hearing the views of both sides and evaluating them. But we must be careful not to look down on someone because of their political preferences. Some people I have only known for only a short time and I didn’t feel that I was “close” enough as a friend to share my thoughts or concerns. In this I see I was wrong. A friend should always share their concerns no matter how “close” of a friend they are.
Well, I have shared my concerns on this “prickly” matter. If I have stated things too strongly I’m sorry, but I have never been able to water things down without washing the point of the message out with it. Let us consider each other above ourselves and remember to bear our convictions with grace, mercy, and love.
Surely, God’s decision will reign in the end. If we get an ungodly harsh ruler it will be for judgment and if God brings a Godly man to rule our nation it will be as a blessing to His people and to America. Whether a Saul or David we can stand fast in His Sovereign will.
So may we prayerfully vote our convictions, think biblically in all our actions, and love our friends and family fervently with the perfect and forgiving love of Jesus.