Q: What do The Beatles, my parents, and the ’94 Lakers have in common?
A: They couldn’t stay together. They all broke up. They just couldn’t make it work.
This is not abnormal. This is the natural state of things. Shaq and Kobe could’ve dominated for a decade, but they couldn’t stand each other anymore. The Beatles told us that all we need is love, but then they couldn’t take it anymore and they broke up screaming. Things fall apart.
There’s an old song called, “Breaking Up is Hard to Do,” and it has a point. You know what is harder though? Staying together. Every utopian project in the history of humankind has failed. Disintegration isn’t remarkable. Entropy isn’t remarkable. Disunity isn’t remarkable.
Unity is remarkable.
This is why I want to ask my fellow professing Christians to do something downright shocking in today’s online environment: Be radically charitable to your Christian brothers and sisters. Do not insult their intelligence. Do not mock them. Assume the best of their intentions. Do not belittle them. If you want to engage their ideas and disagree, do so. This needn’t stop reasoned debate, but let kindness mark every exchange. Let it start with kindness and end with kindness. Here’s why:
1. The world is watching us. It would be a bolt of stunning grace from the blue if we actually modeled this. No one expects this. No one else is doing it. People would wonder how it is that we could possibly get along. What is making these “Christians” stick together? Everything else falls apart. So why don’t they?
2. Jesus said unity is what will prove to the world that we belong to Him. This is the very hallmark of who we are. Not our enlightened bumper stickers. Not our issue-of-the-day tweets Not our big church stage shows (In fact, a friend of mine had the temerity to suggest that perhaps we like big stage shows, political posturing, and debating issues so much because we are failing so bitterly at Jesus’ priority of unity. She might be on to something).
Unity forged on an absolute agreement is not supernatural. If we genuinely disagree, even vehemently disagree, yet model love and deference in all of our public and private communications, well, that’s another thing entirely. I propose we all model this immediately. Again, this isn’t rendering issues unimportant. This isn’t short-circuiting debate. It’s simply shaping how we do it.
Look, I’m a logic machine. I think quickly (A doctor friend of mine laughingly said he wants to avoid arguments with me for fear of again being “logically pummeled”). But if I have not love, I’m a bunch of noise. Things fall apart, but it’s love that endures. As brutal as social media is, that’s where people are. Maybe we could use it to demonstrate what a city on a hill looks like. Disagree with a brother or sister? It will happen, but these people are my family above all. After all, if someone else calls Jesus “Lord” in this culture, it means something. If we agree on that, we may not vote together, but we can sing together, pray together and talk together in meaningful ways. Let’s change our online approaches right now.
We have a bond that’s deeper than public policy, deeper than our misunderstandings, deeper than our wounds. Things fall apart… But we don’t have to…
“He is before all things, and in Him, all things hold together.” – Paul, Colossians 1:17 NIV
Midday Show Host, Star 99.1
Beautiful. If we could all model love including myself, this world would be a better place.
Thank you, Mavis!
Thank you for this wonderful reminder of how the world is watching. I try continuously to love and find so many people are just so broken and afraid, and I’m talking about believers. I pray we trust more in Jesus than Social Media to be our deliverer. May we love one another as God our Abba Father instructs us to do so, especially those who do not look like us or believe as we do, Love.
A very wise old man wrote these words in which I’ll NEVER FORGET!This humble man is Grandpa age and can still do “the worm”!” The Worm!” Acting out of love to show mercy to correct injustices,to set things right….is beautiful!LOVE should be motivation enough to do the right thing.And not LOVE as a fuzzy abstraction,but,LOVE as a gutsy,willful decision to do the best for others.
“You can recognize injustice,STAND UP to it,even Sacrifice,your left fighting it.And you can do it without ANGER.In fact,you’ll do it better.You won’t be remembered as ANGRY,but as convicted of what’s right,and loving to the very end.THIS KIND OF LOVE,leaves an impression on one’s ENEMIES that Anger SIMPLY never will.”
My suggestion is this. Every time were about to react or overreact to something we just read on social media .Remember,these quotes…Ask,yourself this. “ARE the words your about to write the real character that you want people to remember you by?
Thank you, Renee!!
And yes, I can totally do the worm AND I’m about to be a grandpa!!
Thank you, Barbara. And yes – trust is, as always, a the root of things.
Well said Brant! I have tried to instill in my children, who are now in their 20’s that you treat people with respect no matter what, because that is who you are. The ongoing debate I have with them is that they think they don’t need to treat others with respect, unless they earn it. It seems to be the mindset of that generation sadly… Even if you don’t agree with someone, you should still treat them with respect and be able to have a healthy debate. That would be the loving thing to do. I hope more people listen to y9our advice. Thanks!
I really love this!
Thank you, Joddice!
Thank you Brant for reminding us to “love one another” every single day of our lives. As we know as Christians, Jesus was all about Love…and he commanded us to love our fellow man. Easier said than done. It is a struggle at times in my daily walk to live up to this, but I try very hard and I think the Lord knows that. I so wish the rest of the world would find out about Jesus and read the Bible and pray. We would have a different peaceful world.
All I can say, is getting Covid was so hard and I want you and Sheri to know your show really helped. Many days feeling isolated and alone, I would tune in and sometimes in your silliness you would make me laugh or at least Sheri’s booming laugh would be contagious. So I take this opportunity to thank you too and keep professing the word of God on your radio station.
Many blessings and thanks
Thank you, Lorelei!!
Honored you listen to the show!
Good word Brant,
We all fail but that is part of life. Staying together in Unity requires the agape love that is found in our covenant with our Father. Ultimately the bucks stop with me, and faith makes it possible, not easy, Luke 1:37. If we sum it up, God has given us Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. If we listen to him we will be able to follow his word in Rom 13:9, to love our neighbor as ourselves.
In his love and grace!
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