Above all, show sincere love to each other, because love brings about the forgiveness of many sins (1 Peter 4:8, Common English Bible)
Though we cannot think alike, may we not love alike? May we not be of one heart, though we are not of one opinion? Without all doubt, we may. Herein all the children of God may unite, notwithstanding these smaller differences. John Wesley
Earlier this morning I was looking around on the internet for a particular John Wesley quote I wanted to leave as a comment on another blog (never did find it). In the process I ran across a fairly long list of Wesley quotes. Some of them I never knew, some I had forgotten and others, like the one above, are among my favorites.
When I found the list I thought I might start taking some of these quotes, as well as some from other authors and theologians and use them as a place to start my blogs. That doesn’t mean I won’t vary from them from time to time, but some of these jewels of wisdom have been too long forgotten.
I guess I picked this one for today because I think Wesley addresses what I see going on in our country right now, with the upcoming Presidential election (and no, this is not going to be a political post, I will save that for Facebook).
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out our two presidential candidates don’t think alike. That isn’t even close. I would also venture to say they also don’t love alike. I don’t hear much of loving words coming from either. The one positive thing from both I have heard was at the end of last Sunday’s debate when each were asked to say something positive, something they admired about the other. Secretary Clinton, going first, said she admired Mr. Trump’s family and seeing his family said something about him as a husband and father (my paraphrase). For his part, Mr. Trump said, he admired that Secretary Clinton is a fighter, that she would never give up (again, my paraphrase). It was my favorite part of the debate.
Of far greater concern to me, however, is the way we seem to talk to each other and treat each other. And, it isn’t just out in the world, it is even in the Church. When politics is mentioned the claws seem to come out. The hardliners on both sides go into attack mode. “…we cannot think alike…”
We all would like to forget, and sometimes we are successful, that we are all sinners, even our political candidates, and we fall short of the glory of God. Sometimes we want to put our leaders on pedestals and then we rediscover what we have forgotten. They, like us all, fall short. For all of us, that is the bad news.
But, there is good news, if we will take it, if we will follow it. It is in Peter’s words for us in the Scripture verse above, “Above all, show sincere love to each other, because love brings about the forgiveness of many sins.” Love can make up for sin. Peter reminds us to love with a deep love because it makes the difference over sin.
Centuries later Wesley wrote our quote today and I think he is write. We can’t all think alike but can’t we love alike? Centuries after Wesley it seems like a good place for us to heal all that is wrong around us, not just in our politics but in so much that ails our society.
Have a Blessed Day in the Lord.
Grace and Peace,
Copyright 2016, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved