5/15 – A Love Greater Than Politics
In this tense political season, it’s easy for us to get caught up in the fervor by attacking or defending various candidates and their policies. Sometimes those attacks turn towards each other in an effort to prove our own point of view; however, Jesus calls us to a different way of responding — a love greater than politics. How can we rise above our differences to love where we live as Jesus demonstrated for us?
Work through the following questions on your own, and get together with your running partner, Life Group or friends and family around the dinner table to talk through what you’re learning!
- When politics come up with your friends or neighbors, do you tend to engage or shrink back from those types of conversations? Why do you think you react that way?
- Read Romans 13:1. How does it make you feel to learn God’s authority supersedes political authority?
- Read Philippians 3:20 and 1 John 4:18. What does being a “citizen of heaven” mean to you, and what impact does that idea have on how you think we should talk about those with whom we disagree? How can you approach politics, or other differences, with love rather than fear?
- Read Proverbs 18:2. What are some things you feel you might learn from seeking to understand your neighbor’s way of thinking instead of focusing on proving them wrong? What are some good questions you can ask them?
- Read Matthew 22:37-38. How can you approach your neighbors in love when you interact with them about politics, or any sort of differences of opinion, instead of debating who’s right and who’s wrong?
- Read Ephesians 4:29-30. How well are you doing keeping what comes out of your mouth to what is helpful for building others up? How can you stay above the gossip, slander, bashing people and fear-mongering that comes along too often with politics?
- What are some steps you can begin taking to get to know and to love your neighbors despite what differences may exist between you? Check out the “Digging Deeper” section for other ideas.
Romans 13:1 — Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.
Philippians 3:20 — But our citizenship is in heaven.
1 John 4:18 — There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.
Proverbs 18:2 — A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.
Matthew 22:37-38 — Jesus replied, “You must love the lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Ephesians 4:29-30 — Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God.
The heart of this series is to encourage you to Love Where You Live regardless of politics, ethnicity, religion or offenses. Utilize these ideas to take next steps towards loving your neighbors.
- Take a walk around your neighborhood praying for opportunities to meet your neighbors at each home.
- Walk don’t wave — Don’t just wave at your neighbors. Walk over to talk with them. Get to know their names, ask questions and be curious so you begin to know them.
- Invite people to your home for dinner, coffee or a party. Ask questions, like “what do you do for fun?” and let your neighbors interact. If God or faith come up, ask if they have any spiritual background and if it was a good experience. Be ready in return to share where you’re at with God right now.
- Not Like Me by Eric Bryant – Available at the Connect Spot or from online booksellers
SPIRITUAL GROWTH PATH
Did you know you can now track your progress working through the outcomes we include in Next Steps right on Gateway’s website?! Go to Spiritual Growth Path and create an account. You’ll get access to Spiritual Fitness Checks and training with the spiritual outcomes.
Spiritual Outcomes – Relationally Engaged & Humility
- Learn more about loving where you live by working through the RELATIONALLY ENGAGED outcome.
- Learn more about loving where you live by working through the HUMILITY outcome.
BIBLE APP by YOU VERSION
If you’ve yet to do so, we encourage you to download the Bible App by YouVersion on your smart phone. Create a free YouVersion account under Settings. Tap Plans > Discover > Search: Outreach New Testament > Start Plan. Then you can read along each day with us!