Dear Christians, for goodness sake – be kind, or be quiet.
I took the weekend off from Facebook, because SHEESH. My feed was absolutely full of people on both sides of this crazy election, spewing hate at each other.
I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about. Even if you’re not on Facebook, you’ve seen what’s happening around the country.
I have very little to say about the election, honestly. Trump was not my choice, and neither was Hillary. I tend to fall on the more conservative side of things, so you might think that my side “won” the election. But I don’t really think anyone is winning right now. Certainly not the Christian church.
Christian friends – right now, we’re all losing. Conservatives and liberals alike. Because instead of using this opportunity to share the Gospel with those who are scared, hurting, and confused, we’re caught up in arguments with each other, spewing our biased opinions all over the place.
Within the church itself, the most hateful, pointed, and condescending voices I hear are coming from liberal Christians and are directed at conservative ones. They are loud, accusatory, and lack any semblance of the truth spoken in love. They are often quick to make assumptions that aren’t true (that conservatives must be racist, sexist, and worse), while writing off any possible explanation conservatives may have had for voting for anyone other than Hillary (and there are many valid explanations here).
I do think that there are a good many of us on both sides of the fence who are practicing quiet right now. And not because we are afraid to speak up, but because we are listening. Watching. Praying. Trying to figure out WHAT to say and WHAT to think in a way that does reflect both truth, justice, and the love of Christ.
But the loud voices continue to dominate, at least in my circles. And while I do truly understand the distress, the anger, the injustice felt when we realize a man like Trump is now occupying the highest office in the land, I also think these voices are only further dividing the church.
Because it’s not just what they are saying, it’s how they are saying it.
Here’s the thing: KINDNESS MATTERS. Disagree with me, tell me your point of view, ask me questions to help you understand my position, engage me in conversation in a way that listens and considers and treats me with kindness and respect…and I’ll talk to you all day long.
Make blanket assumptions about me, call me names, and yell at me, and I’m just going to shut down. The conversation ends there, and leaves little hope for picking it back up again.
The fact of the matter is that Trump IS our President-Elect. Half the country is terrified, and the other half is relieved. Some of us are both. So honestly, there IS a lot to talk about right now. And the only way we are going to actually be able to have productive conversations about the current and future state of our country is to do so with kindness and respect. I believe we need to do everything we can in order to keep those honest, genuine, respectful lines of communication open.
So I’m laying down some ground rules over here. Just one, actually.
BE KIND, OR BE QUIET.
This is a Kindergarten rule, you guys. It’s the most basic of the basics. Either choose your words with kindness, or keep your mouth shut and just listen.
Fear and anger and hate are already running high, friends. There is no room for more.
And honestly, there should be no room for any of it. Not within the body of Christ. As Christians, our hope does not lie in the law of the land. Our hope lies in CHRIST, and Him crucified. This is a hope that is firm and secure, an anchor for our souls! Is not THIS the hope that we should be sharing with our brothers and sisters, no matter what side of the political spectrum they land on?
Instead of arguing with one another, I suggest we focus our efforts on something that actually furthers the Gospel of Christ.
- We love our neighbor by baking cookies, inviting them over for a meal, or stopping to talk with them in the yard, and get to know them better.
- We serve our communities by offering our time & our gifts.
- We listen, we watch, we pray, and then we reach out in kindness and confidence.
- We immerse ourselves in the Word of God so that we can grow in knowledge and discernment.
- We consider others more important than ourselves.
And for goodness sake, we do everything we possibly can to be kind. Or we just keep our sweet mouths shut.
And all God’s people said?
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Let’s spread the word about what really matters – the hope of the Gospel, and the people who need to hear it.
Kayse is a wife, mom, and founder of the Anchored Women community. She writes to help women fight busy, find rest, and build a life that’s anchored in Christ. Kayse is also the creator of the S.O.S. Planner, the Anchored Life Kit, and other practical resources that equip women to manage their homes and families in confidence. You can find her writing and her resources at anchored-women.com!
AMEN. AMEN. AMEN.
Thanks Kayse, as a Christian in the more liberal side of the spectrum I have to say I’m scared to voice my true opinion which is that we all have a role in this and this is a golden opportunity to find love for each other or at least to put into practice our most deeply held values. But there is so much hatred going around and my stance seems like passivity. My husband is European and suggests that we are following along the lines of Nazi Germany, he is surprised there is not more resistance, whereas I simply turned off the TV because I can’t handle more negativity. I’m so surrounded in the California bubble that I there is no way to get out and bridge the divide with the other side. I am with you, we need to return to our values, of respect and listening to each other and being kind in our words and hearts.
Well said and I will share.
Kindergarten rules. Yes. I am having this conversation with my children all.the.time, and actually had a long talk about it this morning. The Bible has a LOT to say about how speech, not just what we say, but how we say it. These are three verses we are working on memorizing (because kind speech is difficult for all ages, obviously):
“Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24
“Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Proverbs 12:18
“A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.” Provers 29:11
You’re right– the manner in which say things can build a wall or build a bridge. Condescension, sneering, and a lack of empathy are not helpful at all right now.
I fall on the same boat as you Kayse, I am conservative and have voted the Republican line for the last 18 years that I could vote – except this year. And I do fall on the fence. Part of me is relieved and part of me is terrified about Trump in office – but for better or for worse he is our President-Elect. In my attempt to get people to look at it from both sides and to try to find a silver lining, my “passive-agressive posts” and my “defending of the enemy” have my so-called friends in an uproar over my apparent support of the man. By trying to find the good I am apparently a closet supporter or secretly voted for him and even worse a bigot. I guess I’m trying to just keep it positive because unless something truly bizarre happens this is our reality for the next 4 years. I didn’t vote for him, but I have to have faith that we aren’t going down the rabbit hole and that the very nature of our government will prevent disaster. For ourselves and our children we need to show them that having different opinions is fine and we can all get along and be friends with people who don’t agree with us on everything. Who knows…maybe I am just naive. But its great to know that there is someone out there just like me. Thanks Kayse!
This is the problem with Christian we were quiet while Trump was spreading his lies and hate. Now we are trying to tell the world what they should do. Nobody is listening we are nothing but hypotcrite I will never accept trump as my president. He remind me of the anti-Christ
I think maybe you missed the point of the post. Nowhere did I say to JUST be quiet – the point was to have the important conversations in kindness and respect, instead of finger-pointing.
And I’m very sorry, but Trump’s presidency does not depend on anyone “accepting it”. He won the vote. He is our President elect. While he is certainly not my first (or fifth) choice, he IS going to be in office, and we should all be praying for him, his staff, and our country.
I’m going to be conpletly honest here and I am coming from a heart full of love. Was I happy about the election? No. My family is not only hispanic, my husband happens to be an illegal immagrent in the immigration process. We have found peace in Christ. We will do as the bible says and accept, support, and pray for our President Elect. Why? Romans 13: 1-7, 1 Peter 2:11-17, 1 Timothy 2: 1-4, Daniel 2:21, Titus 3:1, Acts: 23:5, Hebrews 13:17, Proverbs: 24: 21-22, Proverbs: 8:15, Jude1:8-11 (this makes me tremble. I do not want to be in this category ever ) I pray that you and everyone else in the body of Christ find his peace and understanding through the renewing of all our minds through His word. Much love ???
Thank you so much for sharing, Anita! Praying for your family, and hoping the immigration process goes smoothly & quickly for your husband!
Thank you ??
Amen! Especially. “Instead of arguing with one another, I suggest we focus our efforts on something that actually furthers the Gospel of Christ.”
So much YES. I’ve had Christian friends on both sides of the issue, and this election has been so hard to watch. Especially when it’s caused division and hard feelings and even one instance where my husband’s faith was publically called into question by one of my longtime Christian friends, over a discussion that wasn’t even about the election! I’m really beginning to wish that I could filter my app so it’s nothing but my absolute closest friends that I can trust to just post pictures of their kids and pets, because my heart just can’t take this anymore.
Well said Kayse! You put into words what we all as Christians need to remember in regards to any issue that tends to divide us. Thank you!! 🙂