I enjoy listening to country music. I’m particularly fond of “classic country music” even though I appreciate and enjoy some of the country music being created today. One of the singers that I’ve enjoyed through the years is Sammy Kershaw. Sammy lives near Lafayette, LA where we previously lived. (I once saw him shopping in a grocery store, and he was very friendly and kind to everyone.)
One of his most popular songs is entitled “Politics, Religion and Her”. The song reveals that there are three things that he won’t discuss. He won’t discuss politics, religion or a broken relationship with a woman that has caused him pain. (In the music video for the song, the woman has actually died which puts a unique spin upon the song.)
Why is it difficult to discuss politics? It’s a struggle, because many of us are emotionally connected to our politics and politicians to an unhealthy degree. If you don’t vote the way we want or have different beliefs about the direction or what should take place in our country, state, county or city, we tend to respond with anger and frustration. Obviously, you are wrong because our candidate and party is right. Sometimes, we even bring God into the conversation as if He is blessing our particular political party. (Both sides of the political divide can be guilty of this.)
I love my country and our beautiful state and local community. I vote for the candidates who I believe will lead us in the best way. However, I can’t let politics make be bitter, angry, and create division between my neighbor who may think differently. It’s impossible to model Christ and serve others who you treat with contempt and disdain. Our politics must never be allowed to damage or destroy the witness of Christ that we are called to show others.
Religion can also be tricky. We all read Scripture and from our reading, what we have been taught by our parents and friends, and our prior experience in church, we form our beliefs about religion. People choose a particular denomination or faith community based upon these factors. When we criticize or attack someone else’s religious beliefs and heritage, we can also lose our influence and witness upon them. Obviously, all religion and denominations are not equal. We must treat others with respect and kindness if we are ever going to be able to share the gospel with them and God’s will for their lives.
We also need to be careful speaking into relationships. We often are hearing “one side” of the story and this can color our judgment. As we hear about or experience relationship struggles in our own lives, we need to pray for wisdom and continue to seek God’s guidance. We need to choose love, kindness and forgiveness and make sure the counsel we provide is clothed in prayer. We may need to refer someone to or even go to counseling ourselves in order to for the relationships in our lives to grow and flourish. Most importantly, we must not condemn, belittle or lecture someone who is sharing their relationship struggles with us. We must love people like Jesus did.
Politics, religion and her is more than a song. They are areas that can divide us if we don’t seek and employ the wisdom of God. Let us not lose our witness and instead bless others through how we navigate these issues in a godly manner with those we love.