“United we stand. Divided we fall.”
We have seen this quote play out in our country in the last few years, and especially since 2020 dawned. What we have witnessed unfolding all around us has left us bewildered, angry, and worried sick. The roller-coaster of emotions has placed us in a state of paralysis, as every move we make and every word we speak has the potential of offending someone, thereby creating further division.
Our country has become defensive. Easily insulted. This has led to an “us versus them” mentality that is arguably fueled by the media, by groups that incite violence, and by partisan politics. Think about the sides we have created: Republicans versus Democrats. Police supporters versus police defenders. Mask wearers versus mask refusers. Quarantiners versus socializers. Trump supporters versus NeverTrumps. Violent protesters versus peaceful protesters. The list goes on and on.
The beautiful thing about America is that we are a country of free thinkers. We pride ourselves on our individualism and the rights we enjoy that are unheard of in other countries. We are a democracy with the power to vote our conscience. All of the wonderful attributes of America can be taken to the extreme, however, and we are seeing how this is hurting our country. Everyone is so busy worrying about protecting their own individual rights that love of country and patriotism and unity have all been forgotten.
First and foremost, we are Christians. This guides every aspect of our lives, from how we vote to how we treat our neighbors. Being a Christian carries a responsibility to stand up for what is right, but to do it in a loving way. Jesus was the perfect example of loving righteousness. He corrected people who were not acting according to God’s will – and he was stern in his correction – but it came from a place of love and a desire to draw others into a closer relationship with God.
We need to be doing the same. We need to ask ourselves if our words and actions demonstrate that we are Christians. We need to support those who need us, whether they are marginalized or silenced or recently unemployed. Whatever the need, as Christians we must try to meet it. The only way to bridge the divide in our country is to reach across it. Yes, we need to maintain our convictions. But we can do that respectfully and with kindness and love.
I am reminded of the feelings we, as Americans, had just after 9/11. We pulled together and the resulting strength was tangible. I remember driving home from work and seeing a man selling flags by the roadside. I couldn’t pull over fast enough. As I stood there buying a flag, car after car pulled in behind me and people smiled as they readily pulled out their cash and purchased a flag. No one cared what political party you belonged to or what your individual stance was on social issues. We were one nation, under God.
Let’s make ourselves indivisible again. As Christians, let’s lead the charge to unite as the great country we are.