It’s a new week with a new issue. How far do we open our door? Do we open it all the way? Do we close it for a while? Where are Christians supposed to stand on this issue? Do we trust or fight our government? Do we fight people who disagree with us?
When I was a child, our door was always open to anyone who needed to come in. It was not unusual to set an extra plate at dinner, or find a blanket for the sofa at night.
And yes, there was even a time when, as little children my siblings and I had to stay with relatives until my own “refugee parents” could find jobs and a house so that we could all live together again.
As an adult, I have tried to follow my parents’ example. Brian and I have opened our door to teen moms and their children (when our own boys were away at college!), to missionary families for days or months, or to friends who need a place to stay.
However, we do lock our doors at night, and we are judicious regarding whom we let in; our door is not open for anyone to walk in at any time, unannounced, or uninvited. That would be foolish. We try to protect our home and our family from evildoers, or from those who would take advantage of us.
Yes, we vet – both ourselves and others. We decide if it is the right time for us to open our door – are we healthy, strong and able to give to others – or is it time to re-stock? We decide who we think is safe and who is not.
In regard to the issue at play in our nation, I believe refugees should be allowed into America. However, I think it is wise to pause, take a collective breath in these troublesome times, and make sure that we have the ability to provide what they need.
How well are we taking care of our own homeless? Can we stretch thin enough to take care of others? Is there a limit? I don’t know. I also think that we must be careful that we allow in people who sincerely want help.
Refugees are not bothersome to me, what is bothersome is the scarcity of calm voices on either side of the issue. It seems that doors are closed and tightly locked that would allow for fact-based discussion, for sharing opinions, or for compromise.
None of us is entirely right and none of us is entirely wrong on either side. When we use inflammatory words that skirt the truth, we close the door to conversation and sharing our point of view.
When we only read headlines instead of articles, when we only watch one news channel, or read only the newspapers who always agree with our perspective are we not closing the door that we should be walking through to try to understand the other side’s perspective?
Is it more important to be right than it is to unite in our diversity? Can we not share different points of view and still celebrate each other’s uniqueness in Christ Jesus? Are we working as diligently to do all that [we] can to live in peace with everyone (Romans 12:18 NLT) as we are to promote our point of view?
God gives each one of us desires and then he works in us to accomplish those desires. His Word tells us to work hard to show the results of [our] salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in [us], giving [us] the desire and the power to do what pleases him. Do everything without arguing or grumbling. (Philippians 2:12b-14 NLT)
How dare we question the salvation of a fellow brother or sister in Christ – on social media no less – simply because he or she understands God’s will differently than we do? What door closes when we speak with such disrespect: The door that allows us to witness to unbelievers. How difficult is it to reopen that door?
As our nation works through the growing pains of a new administration and a new way of looking at and doing things, we must work hard as individual Christians to see to it that we are not sinning in our comments about our leaders or our fellow Christians.
We must remember that all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.(Romans 13:1 NLT) I think this calls us to ask God what HE is doing as frequently and with as much passion as we condemn what we think we see our leadership doing.
God may be using this new administration to discipline our nation, destroy our nation, or restore our nation. Do you know which it is? Have you asked him? Has he revealed his plan to you?
For those of us who believe our land needs healing, God has given us the formula for that healing. Will you commit with me as Christians, God’s people called by his name, to humble ourselves and pray and seek his face and turn from our wicked ways, so that he will hear from heaven and forgive our sins and restore our land.(2 Chronicles 7:14 NLT)
We do know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love [him] and are called according to his purpose for them (Romans 8:28). Will you ask God how he is using these events and decisions made by our government leaders for your good? Will you seek to walk through whatever door God is opening that will refine you and make you more and more into the image of Christ Jesus?
Click here for more information on Marcia’s devotional, “365 Days of Grace”