United We Stand

Published on Nov 9th, 2016 by Pastor Ed Hlad | 0
United We Stand

United We Stand

The election is over. We have elected the next president of the United States. Now let’s unite together and look at the big picture of our country and stand hand in hand to do what is best for our country. Are you kidding me? That used to be true when the election season was about disagreeing and about debating issues. When that kind of season was over it was possible to listen to the will of the people and to put our disagreements aside and work for compromises that made our country stronger. But when you have called the other person a crook every time you mentioned their name, when you not only attack the candidate but the people who vote for the candidate, when you put every sin of the other person and their family under the microscope of public opinion, when you attack husbands and wives, and when both candidates are calling for the other to be arrested, I am not sure you can simply brush those things aside and sing We Are the World and stand united. You may, even though I doubt the sincerity, forgive the other person and excuse what happened as what happens in the heat of an election but trust and restoration is a whole different process. Forgiveness may be granted immediately but restoration takes time. Those things done in the heat of battle did great damage.

It is a good reminder to us in our relationships. We often find that in our own relationships we are embroiled in battles over expectations and desires. We want something that is lacking in our relationships and we are campaigning to get it. Often in that campaign we cross lines that include manipulation, arguing, fighting, or degrading the other person for their expectations and desires. We become consumed with winning. Then we win. We ask forgiveness for our weapons in battle and we are forgiven. We are excited to enjoy our victory and the fulfillment of our desire. What we often fail to see is the damage that was done by the war we raged. Trust has been damaged. Wills have been wounded. Love has been tested. These injuries have been experienced by you and by those whom you have gained victory over. When we fail to take the time to restore that which has been damaged we are left wounded and battered. The next campaign will do further damage and it will continue until one by one each is shattered. What you will find, as we found in this election cycle, is that each new battle you must use bigger and bigger weapons to achieve the same results. Nothing will deescalate on it’s own. We must choose to understand that the battle is just as important as the war. How you fight is just as important as what you fight about. Just because what you are fighting for, in your mind, is good and right it does not give you the right to use weapons of mass destruction in the lives of others. We must learn to fight as God would have us fight. We cannot use coarse language, crying, manipulating, fighting, silence, etc. to win our battles. Too much damage is done.

You may have received forgiveness from others. That is a good thing. But do not confuse forgiveness for total restoration. That takes time. You must rebuild that which you injured during the battle. You must speak words of true kindness that rebuild that which you tore down in anger. You must speak the truth in love to rebuild that trust that was lost in your manipulating words. You must demonstrate great gentleness to rid others of the pictures of violence you left in their lives. You may be standing in victory today, achieving what you desired, but you may have lost what is really important along the way. Yes, it is possible to stand united one day. There is just a lot more good work that needs to be done before we get to that day.

Passages to read: James 4:1-12; Ephesians 4:17-32; II Corinthians 13:11; Galatians 6:1

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