Article Featured in the November 1, 2018, KCC Newsletter
From the Pastor's Pen
by Pastor Kevin White
On Tuesday, November 6th, Americans will head to the polls for the Mid-Term Elections. (Unless you are one of the record number of voters who have voted early). I know that I am ready for the campaign season to be over with all the negative rhetoric and negative advertisements! I encourage you to vote and to pray for our elected leaders. Click Here are 5 ways to PRAY leading up to Election Day.
I always appreciate reading retired Pastor Bob Russell’s blog. He is Biblical, practical, and extremely wise in his responses to the various issues of our day. With Election Day on Tuesday, I wanted to share some of the insights from his latest Blog. He offers some excellent instructions about our need for civility in our relationships regardless of our political beliefs. Here’s a summary from his blog:
Politics have become such a nasty business in recent years that representatives of both parties have resorted to ill-advised threats and childish name-calling. It’s not surprising that the unseemly rhetoric has now degenerated to mob action and violence. Most everyone acknowledges that it’s way past time to reverse the trend. However, in response to the plea for politeness, many partisan leaders’ resort to heated arguments over who initiated it and who needs to change the most. We’re like two children bickering in the back seat of a car saying, “He started it!” “No, you started it!” Let’s just quit it for goodness sake! Those of us who are followers of Jesus Christ should set the pace. After all, it was said of Jesus that He was “…full of grace and truth.” We can stand for God’s Word and still be gracious. I doubt if many of our national leaders are going to suddenly become more civil. The bitter bickering will continue. But those of us who claim Jesus as our Savior and our Example should be distinctive.
There is a passage of Scripture in Titus 3:1-2 that describes what civility looks like. “Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate and always to be gentle toward everyone.”
In a recent message, Bob’s son, Rusty pointed out Seven Signs of Civility from this passage in Titus:
1. Respect the authorities. God ordained governments to keep order in a fallen world. Sin has to be restrained. Therefore everyone is accountable to someone, so respect those who rule over you. Show courteous deference to the President, politicians, police officers, judges, and teachers. Respect the office even if you don’t necessarily respect the person holding the office. “For they are God’s servants to do you good” Romans 13:4
2. Obey the laws. Christians should obey the law. The only laws we are not to obey are those that go counter to the commands of Christ. Jesus said, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much… Luke 16:10
3. Lend a helping hand. Be eager “to do whatever is good.” Look for ways to express kindness to people who are different than you. Be willing to go the second mile. Hold the door, help with the package, put the trash in the wastebasket, be generous with the poor, smile at the stranger and be willing to serve those who need help. You’re not too big to wipe off the table or pick up the litter, even if it’s not in your job description.
4. Slander no one. Guard your tongue. The Bible commands us to show proper respect to those in authority and to “honor the king.” 1 Peter 2:13-17. We’re not to return anyone evil for evil. Let’s each repent of our slander and begin practicing self-control. Even if we strongly disagree, let’s not exaggerate flaws or demean others.
5. Be peaceable. Solomon wrote, “A gentle answer turns away wrath” Proverbs 15:1. Lower the voice, soften the tone, moderate the rhetoric. Bend over backward to keep the peace. An advisor to Abraham Lincoln once encouraged him to get even with his enemies. He said, “I do get even with them when I make them my friends.” The Apostle Paul wrote, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” Romans 12:18.
6. Mind your manners. “Be considerate of others.” There are healthy traditions that have been handed down from our forefathers that were designed to show respect for others. You don’t crowd in line. You don’t interrupt or shout someone down. You dress modestly and appropriate for the occasion. You say please and thank you. You respect the ownership of property. Put yourself in other’s shoes for a moment.
7. Be humble. Someone said, “Anger gets you in trouble and pride keeps you there.” Swallow your pride and apologize. Better still be humble and refrain from offending in the first place. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4.
A sheep farmer was furious because his neighbor’s vicious dog was killing his young lambs. He begged the stubborn neighbor to tie up the savage animal, but his pleading fell on deaf ears. Instead of threatening him, suing him or shooting the dog, the sheep farmer just gave a newborn lamb to the neighbor’s children as a pet. The next day the dog was tied up. “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
The best description of civility is found in these powerful words of Jesus, “Do to others as you would have them do to you” Luke 6:31
Let’s lead the way in being civil with others in our church, community, and country!
Blessings to all…Pastor Kevin