From the Student Ministry….

Finding common ground and avoiding becoming the thing you hate

Sarcasm, insight, passive resolve, and semi-apathetic support – in our group we have the full spectrum when it comes to political interest…or disinterest. Some I rely on to keep me up to speed on current events and provide me minute by minute commentary. Others I make sure we don’t stay too long in the political discourse or they will check out completely. My cues tend to be glazed eyes, nodding heads, or semi-cynical comments which I would be excited to find in any favorite sitcom— we have very clever youth. Neither side of this spectrum is better than the other. You do not have to be passionate about politics to care about the welfare of people; or be giddy about government to recognize the mistreatment of power. The youth know and demonstrate this to me every time by asking for indiscriminate prayers of healing and safety for all sides. 

With Martin Luther King Day falling just after all the rowdiness, we honored the great Preacher and civil rights leader by studying one of his sermons that focused on a key pillar of his ministry: love your enemy. I felt it was very applicable considering the amount of divisiveness and hate we have seen on display recently. The sermon we looked at is called “Loving your Enemies” delivered at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church (if you’d like to look it up on Youtube you can find a recording there). In it he outlines some “how’s” and “why’s” of loving your enemy. 

King preached that self examination and finding the good in your enemy must precede the practical why’s. In the words of the youth: “notice your own faults and find common ground.” Something I will be writing on the next Post-it stuck to my mirror. King then goes on to explain we should love instead of hate because acting hatefully only adds to the overall amount of hate in the world; hating corrupts and does more harm to the hater. Again in the words of our youth, “hate creates mutually assured destruction and turns you into the thing that you hated in the first place.”

What would be wonderful is if the rest of our country would be as quick to grasp these ideas as our youth are. This will be my prayer through February. I invite you to pray along with me.