Christians, in this divisive time, let’s beware lest we be known more by complaining, stereotyping, and gloating than by our loving and extending grace.
Let’s beware lest we become a church of Jonah’s.
Jonah didn’t want to go to the Ninevites because they were different from him – and very, very horrible. But God called him to speak grace to an undeserving people.
We all have our own personal Ninevites: people who are different from us that we think in our self-righteousness don’t deserve God’s mercy.
For me, to be completely transparent, it was the stereotypical Boomer Trump supporter. I was fine with believers who chose the “lesser of two evils,” but I was very frustrated with the world of older, whiter Midwestern people who shocked the world when they gave him the Presidency. The coal worker in Ohio. The manufacturing employee in Michigan whose company moved to China. The blue collar hard-worker in Pennsylvania whose job got replaced by robots or illegal immigrants.
God’s love surely doesn’t extend to them! They are so ethnocentric. So unconcerned about morality in their choice of a candidate!
When Wednesday morning came, I woke to a new morning. And a new reality.
Drain the Swamp
There are a lot of needy people in the Midwest. Without a Savior. Looking for someone to make their lives great again.
These people need the grace of God. Not my hipster millennial judgment.
I’ve been so caught up in my own little world, going from coffee shop to coffee shop, fixated by tweets and hashtags. Talking only to millennial friends about a “bigoted” candidate that surely couldn’t win.
I’m happy to share the Gospel with fellow millennials in coffee shops. Go to an African-American or Latino neighborhood and extend love – no problem.
Show compassion to Muslims – easy. Show compassion to Trump supporters – no way!
I was blind to a whole host of people in desperate need of some grace.
That’s the lesson I learned from this election cycle.
Who are your Ninevites? For you Boomers, it may be those Muslims that you are excited about barring from the country. Or Hispanics you want to put on the other side of the wall. Or the millennials in downtown New York that you think are just sore losers. Or your Democrat friend on Facebook who is #stillwithher. For we millennials, it may be that older family member who won’t stop posting about draining the swamp. Or our neighbor with the Trump hat.
God’s grace is not content to stay in one people group. Or one voting block. Or one community. It knows no limits. It breaks through our prejudices and racist remarks and self-righteous judgments and hashtags to reach to individuals in rural Wisconsin and Rust-Belt Ohio and inner-city Chicago and Muslim-heavy Detroit.
Make Christians Gracious Again
It’s time for Christians to forget about the 2016 election cycle and start thinking about sharing the Gospel.
Let’s face it – there are some real hurting people out there right now. Imagine being the illegal immigrant mother who now thinks she will be deported with her young children. Think about the Muslim child who is fearful for his life at school in the Deep South. Think about the Trump supporter who’s been out of work for as long as Obama has been President. Think about people who just got a little bit of hope that things could change.
America is divided – but it has one thing in common: it needs the grace of Jesus.
America will not be made great by Supreme Court nominees or a wall. America’s greatness is directly dependent on the grace of God. I certainly hope for some policy changes and pray for the new President’s success. But what I’m most concerned about is not America’s greatness but my personal graciousness to those different from me.
Millennials. Boomers. Rioting on streets. Partying in the streets. Whatever you’re feeling from the election, it’s time to move on. It’s time to extend the grace of the Gospel to all people. While millennials are rioting and racists are rejoicing, may Christians of every generation be showing grace.