Everyday my Facebook deed is inundated with political stumps. I understand that, the nation is less than two months away from a Presidential election and people want to express their right to free speech to make their views known.
My problem is with the vitriolic nature and dishonesty many of these stumps carry forth. They only seem to anger those who disagree and help further the polarization among society. It’s even more disturbing when I see Christians engaged such activity that only seems to create hostility.
This has me thinking about the use of freedom and specifically how such freedom is vocalized. What I want to say now is for Christians since our freedom is deeper and greater than the right to free speech that all Americans our afforded. Our freedom is in Christ (cf. Gal 5:1) which means that our standard for how we live comes from Christ.
Here is what the apostle Paul has to say about the use of our freedom in Galatians 5:13-14:
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Now I know that historically Paul is addressing a church situation and how Christians ought to be treating their fellow Christians. Yet I believe the logic of Paul’s wisdom in this passage can apply to the way Christians exercise their freedom within society. The logic of Paul’s wisdom essentially boils down to this: Christians should not use freedom to engage in the ways of the world but instead to “serve one another humbly in love.” Put another way, the image of freedom in Christ is the act of humble loving service to others (i.e., the picture above).
So rather than using our freedom to denigrate politicians we disagree with and the people who support those politicians, let’s use our freedom to serve our neighbors regardless of their political and religious views, regardless of their nationality or ethnicity, regardless or their lifestyle or economic status, regardless… And yes, this must extend to our Muslim neighbors as well.
The hard part for me is not the serving neighbor part. I can do that. What is hard for me is refraining from voicing my opinion on each candidate running for President. I’m trying to practice my own advise, which is not always easy and I apologize for failing to adhere to my own advise in the past.
So let’s use our freedom for expressing what really matters, the love of God manifested in the humble acts of loving service by God’s people for others!