Perhaps it’s the weather or the time of year or simply the lack of common courtesy but it seems that we are inundated with negativity. From the house next door and perhaps our house to the White House and all the houses in between, we seem to have forgotten/neglected how to treat each other and that includes both houses of congress.
Perhaps we need the guidelines refreshed. We all have learned the Golden Rule at some point in our lives. “Do unto others as you would have done unto you”. In other words treat others as you would like to be treated including how we speak to each other.
The prophet Micah reminds us in Micah 6: 8 “What does the Lord require of us? To act justly (do justice) and to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God.”
Eugene Peterson in “The Message” interprets Micah 6: 8 “But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women. It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, and don’t take yourself too seriously – take God seriously”.
Unfortunately the church has often been cited as one of the most critical and judgmental places. While we may think of ourselves as welcoming and nice, the opposite seems to be the impression too of- ten left on both visitors and many who have left the church. Often cited were times when “the church” failed to listen to the voices of those “not like us” or those who differ in opinion from us.
We become entrenched in our traditions and attitudes, invoking “this is the way we do things” to the detriment of perhaps embracing new opportunities. I am not suggesting we throw out our history and traditions as much as I am suggesting we might look for opportunities to fulfill the mandate from Micah.
What words might we choose in our conversations that bring compassion and love where some- times criticism and judgement seem prevalent. Our society, our communities, churches and families could well take a lesson from Micah to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God.
To quote Eugene Peterson “It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be com- passionate and loyal in your love, and don’t take yourself too seriously – take God seriously.
Perhaps if we could all encompass these attributes we could find a way to diminish hostility and build positive relationships that honor and embrace each other across all of the boundaries that seem to separate us in our families, our churches, our communities and our nation.
Something to think about,
Blessings and love Pastor Dave