Did you ever participate in a debate when you were in High School? I hated them. I’d watch my classmates get red-faced with anger, or embarrassment, depending on their position. As kids, we hoped to be on the opposition side rather than the proposition side. Most knew how to argue, but many didn’t know how to advocate for a resolution.
Here, in the United States, we’ve heard many debates throughout this year, and it’s created a heated social climate. Fear of the unknown heightens emotions. As Christians, we have an opportunity to make a difference.
In the next couple of weeks, the Republican and Democratic political conventions will be on YouTube’s live stream–an enhanced interactive 360-degree video. More viewers and more private and public debates will erupt.
As Christians, how should we respond when we’re discussing differing opinions with non-believers? Whether we’re talking face-to-face or posting on social media, let’s remember how Jesus responded to the political climate He faced during His ministry on earth.
Hope to a Volatile Culture
We have a higher governing authority; Jesus is Lord of all. God’s Word, coupled with a clear perspective can bring hope to a volatile culture. We don’t have to debate, but we can speak freely, and share God’s love for such a time as this. We can communicate a message that’s pleasing to God.
In the book of Colossians, we find a passage that models prayer for any season. The Apostle Paul gave his final admonition to the Colossians. This passage shows us how to approach non-Christians. It’s a reminder to demonstrate integrity in conduct and speech.
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
Colossians 4:2-6 New International Version
I wrote a prayer that lists ten of the valuable points found in the above passage. It’s a prayer to help us maintain integrity when hate is prevalent throughout the world.
A Speaker’s Prayer
May I persevere in prayer.
May I be watchful.
May I always be thankful.
May I have opportunities for God’s message.
May I speak the Gospel message clearly.
May I be sensitive toward outsiders.
May I maximize every opportunity.
May I communicate with God’s goodwill in mind.
May I add enough flavor to preserves God’s message.
May I respond wisely to questions.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
May this political season give us an opportunity to share the Gospel message of Jesus Christ.
Bratcher, R. G., & Nida, E. A. (1993). A handbook on Paul’s letters to the Colossians and to Philemon. New York: United Bible Societies.
The Holy Bible: New International Version. (1984). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.