In 2016 kindness is disappearing in the United States. Everyone in the world is glad that we don’t have to see anymore political ads. In North Carolina those ads have been brutal. Not only did we have to endure all the presidential ones, but we also had very polarizing races for governor and senate among others. I’ve seen at least 2 attack ads per commercial break for at least a month. Add to that all the other stuff that has gone on in 2016 and it seems like we have taken a free pass to throw kindness out the window.
Now that the election is over, the ads may be gone but I’ve still seen attacks running rampant on social media. It was a heated election, so I’m not shocked at the responses, but I wish they were different. People are beyond angry at other people just based on a vote (or if they exercised their right not to vote). One of the only things I’ve seen bring people together in 2016 was Hurricane Matthew. It took a natural disaster to find some kindness. That is scary.
Remember yesterday when we thought today all the election anger would be over? We were so young and naive. Those were the days my friend!
— Jon Acuff (@JonAcuff) November 9, 2016
Now I will be the first to admit I am not the kindest person. It is something I have worked very hard on over the years and though I’ve made great strides, I still have a way to go. Just last night I deleted some things I posted on social media and stopped myself in the middle of writing others because I knew it could upset someone (even though that wasn’t my intention). I have a hard time when I think about how acceptable being unkind and rude has become. As I think about everything that has gone on in 2016, Colossians 3:12-15 stand out to me.
12 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. (Col 3:21-15)
What a powerful passage, yet what a challenging passage. It starts by saying that God chose us to be holy. Part of that is turning the other cheek. It tells us to forgive anyone that offends us. Anyone. Just let that sink in for a minute. In the past 24 hours lots of people have been offended. It tells us that above all we must clothe ourselves in love. It doesn’t say love unless *insert reason here*. It tells us to let the peace of God to rule in our hearts. It doesn’t say it should be in our hearts. It says it should rule. And then it finishes with always be thankful. Some of you are probably wondering how in the world you can be thankful after the results of last night. Like I said, it is a very challenging passage.
I wonder what would happen if I really lived out those verses. As I said earlier, I am nowhere near perfect at any of those things. I still get mad when I am behind someone driving under the speed limit or if I have to wait too long at a red light. But what an awesome place would it be to have a country of people living out those verses. This country is in a place where we need harmony and those verses tell us the way to get there is love. As I move forward after this election, these verses are my goal. I can only pray that others will join me in bringing love and kindness back to our country.
until next time…