You can love and bless a person with whom you totally disagree.
We all are facing two elections today. One is a political decision. The other is a choice of the heart. How will I feel toward those who don’t vote like I do? How will I treat those who stand for everything I hate?
In the political election, you get one vote. In the election of your heart, you get all the votes. You alone elect the meditations of your heart. You alone choose whether to love or hate, whether to bless or curse.
Neuro-theologian, Jim Wilder, has suggested that the capacity to love one’s enemies is the best litmus test of spiritual maturity. Consider how plainly Jesus spoke of it:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?” Matthew 5:43–47 (ESV)
Paul echoed Jesus’ plea:
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Romans 12:14 (ESV)
It’s easy to bless people on your side of the political aisle. But, regardless of who wins today’s election, Christ in you wants to love the other side. The Holy Spirit, who dwells richly in you, wants to bless the very people with whom you so deeply disagree.
When you elect to love your enemies, it doesn’t mean that you agree with them or endorse their errant views. It means that you pray for them, want the best for them, and show them kindness. By the power of the Spirit, you can do that. You can bless your enemies.
In today’s political election, you get one vote, so you can’t control the outcome. But in the election of the heart, you get all the votes. You can decide to love rather than hate. And that’s the Gospel!