It is impossible to deny with a straight face that there is an abundance of hateful rhetoric, hostility, and ill will loose in our society. In fact, the disagreeableness and “party Spirit” we observe on all sides is arguably the defining characteristic of today’s public discourse. Here is a sampling of the Biblical standard for our actions and attitude toward others. We’re called to be tenderhearted and to:
“…be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.” (Ephesians 4:32)
“…like-minded and sympathetic, love one another, and be compassionate and humble, not paying back evil for evil or insult for insult but, on the contrary, giving a blessing, since you were called for this, so that you may inherit a blessing. For the one who wants to love life and to see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit, and let him turn away from evil and do what is good. Let him seek peace and pursue it, because the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do what is evil.” (1 Peter 3:8-12)
“…as God’s chosen ones, holy and dearly loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a grievance against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you are also to forgive. Above all, put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. And let the peace of Christ, to which you were also called in one body, rule your hearts. And be thankful.” (Colossians 3:12-15)
I know how far I fall short of the above standards – but I’m honestly working on it day-by-day and asking God for His grace and the Holy Spirit’s power to move ever closer to the biblical standard. And, God is good and faithful and brings into my life a continuing stream of reminders to help me improve. One such reminder landed in my inbox yesterday. It is a delightful article by Pastor Bob Russell. The article appeared first at: bob russell.org as: Kudos To Ellen DeGeneres. RMF
Kudos To Ellen DeGeneres
By Bob Russell
Ellen DeGeneres’ world-view is much different than mine. I think she’s a talented entertainer and a likeable person, but I don’t agree with her lifestyle or political beliefs. However, I really appreciated the statement the popular comedian made last week explaining why she attended an NFL game with former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura.
The national television broadcast featured a shot of Ellen DeGeneres and President Bush laughing together. The fact that she had a good time with Mr. Bush bothered many of her fans. Some expressed anger that she would even be seen in public with a man who had been responsible for initiating the Iraq War and taking a pro-marriage, pro-life stand during his presidency. They equated her casual friendship with the Bush’s as equivalent to fraternizing with the enemy.
Last week on her syndicated talk show Ellen DeGeneres took considerable time to address the issue. “Some people were upset,” she admitted. “They thought, ‘Why is a gay, Hollywood liberal sitting next to a conservative, Republican president?’” Many angry people tweeted about the seemingly mismatched pair, DeGeneres said.
The tweet that impressed her the most, however, was a positive one: “Ellen and George Bush together makes me have faith in America again,” she read. Her audience cheered for the positivity, and DeGeneres explained she’s friends with many people who don’t share the same beliefs. “We’re all different. And I think that we’ve forgotten that that’s OK that we’re all different,” she continued. Continue reading