Them. Thank goodness I’m not like them.
The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank you, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector.
I woke up this morning after a short night of sleep, said good morning to my boys and started scrolling through Facebook.
It wasn’t long before tears began to run down my cheeks. People hurt by the outcome of the election. Scared for what it means for them and feeling like America is going to become something they’re ashamed of. So they lash out and say terrible things about conservatives, republicans and Christians. Their words hurt and I think how unfair it is to be dumped into a pile of vulgar adjectives along with people who picket funerals and harbor hate for anyone unlike themselves. “That’s not me!” I want to scream. But their hearts are angry right now and my words would only stir up more hate. So I bite my tongue and hope to live a life that speaks for itself.
I scroll on thinking that’s the worst of it.But no… I realize there’s something just as bad happening. Prideful, unloving, gloating from people are who are so over the moon about the outcome of the election you’d thing Jesus Christ himself just got elected. Their words are mean and bullying and so full of self righteous celebration I think to myself, there’s no love here. And if we’ll recognize Christians by their love, I wonder… I’m tempted to drop a zinger to make them think about how gross they sound to people outside of their cliques, but I bite my tongue again. It’s the Internet, after all. The value of words drops considerably.
I close Facebook and stew for a while, making a mental case against the stone throwers and the stony hearted. Thinking of things I’d like to say. Then that phrase, or something eerily similar crosses my mind. “Thank goodness I’m not like those people”.
Oh God, forgive me.
While I was mourning how this election has brought out the worst in a lot of people, I was failing to see the worst that was coming out of my own heart. So I sit here, humbled by my own sinful heart. I have so much to learn and I’m thankful for a God who calls me back and loves me enough to chastise me when I need it (which is often). And I’m thankful for friends who put up with me on this journey to be more like Jesus.
I’m still upset by what I’ve seen, but instead of asking God to help “them” I’m here asking God to help us. Give us wisdom, love, discernment and heal our broken hearts so we can take healing to the nations. If this has brought out the worst in us, it’s just an opportunity to see what was hidden all along. Now we see it and can deal with it. So let’s do that.
Love you guys. I’m deeply sorry for my attitude, I hope you’ll forgive me. Let’s do better.