I love music...all kinds of music (o.k., maybe not rap and death metal...but I love a wide variety of music!).
I love to listen to the different instruments and try to pick out the rythmns, the notes, etc.--the way they each form thier own sound, but come together to form one better (sometimes AMAZING) sound is pretty cool!
What would it be like if every instrument played just one note? Maybe it was the 'middle C', or something great like that--choose your favorite note--but they each played only one?
Pretty aggravating. Pretty boring. I'd quickly turn it off.
Here's the thing: some of us only play one "note" in our dealings with others.
I'm a Christian. Full-fledged Christ follower. That means a few things, among them: I know, by faith, that I am God's child and am headed to heaven to be with Him. I know that it is by God's grace, through faith in Christ. I also know that some people will reject Him, and will therefore spend eternity separated from Him.
All of this I know...and I want to convince them to turn to Him in faith, to rescue them from their own sin.
What is the most effective way to do that?
Is it to run around yelling "You're going to Hell! You're going to Hell!"?
Don't think so. (Although it MAY be true--who am I to tell--I don't know thier hearts!). Even if it IS true, however, when they hear me yelling--using my 'one note', they will tune me out, so that the truth of the message--and the offer of salvation, through Christ--will be unheard.
We do the same thing with many important, controversial topics--including politics.
Yesterday the President of the United States visited our fair city and spoke at my Alma Mater, Kalamazoo Central High School. He said things I agree with--"Don't blame others; Don't make excuses; Don't let others determine your life; Rise above your circumstances; Help others rise up too"--and I agree with all of that. The experience, for those graduates and families was pretty amazing, I'm sure.
However, some of those who disagree with his politics (I count myself among them), find themselves unable to admit that these are good words. They can't see themselves EVER agreeing with ANYTHING he says (much like many of President Obama's supporters did with former President Bush).
I KNOW the arguments: "Who is he to say THAT? He's the 'Complainer in Cheif'!"; "He's just lulling us to sleep with nice words, then he'll pull the rug out!"
Let me ask my conservative brethren something: What is your goal? Is your goal to say "I was RIGHT!" in the end, or is it to convince people to take a step back and consider what's going on? Is your goal to wake people up, or to excuse yourself?
If your goal is to wake people up to what's going on, don't play only one note! Acknowledge when the President (or his cabinet) do something right, and those who write your opinions off as mere political 'hackery' will be more likely to take notice, and listen when you have a criticism.
If you only play 'one note', whether it's in music, politics, or faith--No One wants to listen! They may just turn you off!
1st Peter 3:15-16: "Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way.[c] Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ."
Philippians 2:14-15: "Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life..."