As the holidays are upon us, let us be mindful that these next few weeks are beautiful opportunities to express love, grace, encouragement and peace towards others. There are some people, and in some cases someone we know, or even we ourselves are in dire need of a prayer or two this holiday season. Some have lost loved ones and some have lost much to tragedies. Yet there are reasons and opportunities to spread love to others right now. A notion such as this may seem difficult, especially with the brutal mid-terms behind us, and some political runoff elections ahead of us; but let's just try to be civil to one another.
The concept of civility springs from the word civilis, which in Latin means "citizen." Civility is caused by a person's emotions or lack thereof. If a person is emotionally affected by the negative feedback that they get from other people in a psychologically normal manner then they are defined as civil.
In my everyday circles at home with family, at church, at work and in the communities at large, I work hard to keep the commandment to "love one another." Another helpful process, which I learned from the "King Family Legacy Code of Nonviolence," is to communicate difference in a civil manner with the expectation of a "win-win" outcome. Around Thanksgiving Season, I begin to half-jokingly say: "Don't be guilty of ripping the leg off the turkey and beating up others with it." I only say half-jokingly because so many families are divided these days. I know the Bible teaches that relatives will rise up to disagree with others; but does this have to happen in our families?
Galatians 5:22-23 New International Version (NIV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
We need to interact with both Christians and non-Christians in a respectful way. Jesus did. In John 4, as Jesus talked to the Samaritan woman at the well, Jesus associated with someone who was far from acceptable in Jewish society, and while He fully told her the truth, He did so in a kind, compassionate, and redemptive manner. This means refraining from insults, name-calling, and excoriation not only in theological discourse but also in political diatribes.
Actually as Christians, we should not even be involved in political debates and any mean spirited activities; not at Thanksgiving, not at Christmas; not ever. We would be better served to be praying for all of our leaders, and also voting for government God's way. So, while we are baking the turkeys and wrapping the gifts and all of the beautiful activities ahead of us; let us pray. Please click HERE and HERE for 2 Alveda King Holiday videos.