Peace in a Polarized World
It doesn't take much to start an argument these days.
In just a bit, I would like you to read the top ten items on a list of the “Most Controversial Topics Today” (according to a recent study by a research group named Academic Influence)… But before you read any further, make a mental note right now of how fast your heart is beating, what emotions are at work within you, the words you would choose to say if you opened your mouth this very moment. Alright, here is the list:
Civil rights, freedom of speech, climate change, the death penalty, abortion, social security, artificial intelligence, health insurance, religious freedom, minimum wage...
Now that you’ve made your way through that field of land mines… Did any of those topics pique your interest? How are you feeling? Is your pulse elevated? Are your mind and body becoming tense?
If so, you’re not alone. Throughout our community, across the nation, around the world… topics like these are bringing out passionate responses—and painful interactions—between people who disagree with one another.
What is going through God’s mind when He looks down from His throne and sees this?
While it’s true that we cannot know all the thoughts of our Creator, as the rhetorical question asked long ago in Isaiah 40:13 — and again in Romans 11:34 — and yet again in 1 Corinthians 2:16 reminds us so bluntly. “Who has known the mind of God?”
Yet, in His grace, our Lord reveals to us some wisdom we desperately need in this and in every age. He shares from His thoughts with us so that we might live faithful lives:
“If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” (Romans 12:18)
Peace in a polarized world. God desires this.
Is this something you desire too? Can you see how the Holy Spirit is bringing this peace into your corner of the world through the way He is active in your life?
It is only a matter of time before you and I will encounter yet another polarizing circumstance in the midst of a polarized people. Join me in praying for God’s will to be done in such moments. That we would be neither silent nor reckless with our words, but rather speak the truth in love. That we would seek unity rather than sow discord.
(Lest I be unclear... God is not confused or divided on any of these “controversial” issues. His Word speaks clearly, decisively, and insightfully on many of these matters.)
When we see God though His Son—through Jesus, crucified and risen and reigning—one truth we encounter is that God doesn't merely want us to be right about all the issues of the day. He dearly wants us to be right with Him. And He is eager for everyone to become part of His eternal family by believing in Him too.
“[God our Savior] desires all people to be saved
and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:4)
The way we live out His peace in the midst of a polarized world is a key part of how we participate in God’s mission… and how we receive the peace Jesus gives to us.
—Pastor Mark Harris
“I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In this world you
will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)