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How You Can Bridge America’s Growing Divide

How You Can Bridge America’s Growing Divide

Drop The Stone just kicked off on July 4th and we’re already hearing stories of how Christians are overcoming divisiveness – with kindness.  The 2024 Presidential election season shows early signs of being the most contentious in recent memory.  That’s quite a statement considering we’re still mired in congressional hearings, controversies, and litigation surrounding the 2016 and 2020 elections.  Joining the fray and taking sides with parties and politicians around policies has invited accusations of judgmentalism and Christian Nationalism.  Rather than further alienating those who don’t know Jesus, let’s try a different approach in 2024.  We’re primarily citizens of a Kingdom (of heaven), not a democracy.  So our King is honored when His subjects cast eternal votes by demonstrating His love to those across the political aisle.

Jesus taught, “Whoever hasn’t sinned should throw the first stone”.  You can find great examples of Christians taking that message to heart, choosing Agape over anger, on Drop The Stone’s Facebook, Instagram, X (Twitter).  Each social media post includes the #DropMyStone hashtag and encourages 5 friends to follow their lead.  We can bridge the divide in our nation and start a movement pointing those throwing stones to Christ by responding to their hostility with millions of radical acts of #PrayerCareShare, like these…

Nathan’s Story…

“I’ve been part of a movement this election season called #DropMyStone.  It encourages acts of kindness rather than divisiveness.  Recently, while on vacation, I was filling my car up with gas when a stranger approached me.  His car needed a jump start, and he didn’t speak English, which made me feel a bit apprehensive.  But then I remembered the movement and decided to #DropMyStone and lend him a hand.

With some gestures and smiles, he grabbed his jumper cables and we walked over to his car.  Despite the language barrier, our actions spoke for us.  We connected the cables, and soon his car roared back to life.  The relief and gratitude on his face were worth every moment of hesitation.  We shared a handshake and a high five, a universal language of appreciation.

This experience reminded me of the power of kindness and how small acts can bridge even the widest gaps.  I’m so glad I decided to #DropMyStone and help a stranger in need.”

Gibbs’ Story…

“Meet Wally (my childhood friend and a retired tax attorney in assisted living near Crystal River due to health issues) and Kevin (a former judge, practicing family law).  Both are Democratic friends of mine.  Wally in 2022 asked us to join him in a weekly Bible study by phone.  Monthly, we travel to visit Wally over lunch.  Usually, we’ve avoided political discussions due to our differences, as the conversations could become heated.

Amazingly, during our June lunch, we “graduated” to sharing our political viewpoints in a kind and respectful way!  What a beautiful victory, to deepen our friendships by loving one another even while sharing our differences.”

Tonya’s Story…

“Have you ever had a neighbor or coworker or family member that just is an angry person in general?  No matter what you do to try to accommodate them, they just want to sit in their misery and make life unbearable for everyone around them.  Oftentimes they choose to poke you in opposing political or cultural views.  I’ve had several of these people in my path.  I can choose to reciprocate the anger, just simply ignore them, or I can choose to #DropMyStone and meet them where they are.

In order to engage in positive conversation, I baked and delivered a treat.  To my surprise, I find they are very lonely, have had trauma in their life, and maybe even are dealing with physical chronic pain.  Just being able to tell their story breaks down the barriers.  It isn’t always received as I would hope, but it shows that my intentions are pure and opens a crack for a positive relationship.  I don’t recall Jesus baking for others, but He did offer living water.  Loving others comes in many forms.  Let’s flood our world with acts of kindness instead of political rants.”

Jim’s Story…

“Happy 4th of July!  Not coincidentally, today we also celebrate the kickoff of Drop The Stone.  All Americans cherish freedom, particularly the right to worship without persecution, but differ in their opinions about which parties, politicians, and policies present the greatest threat to our religious liberties.

In an election year, it was tempting to keep quiet about my faith last week while vacationing in Maine and New Hampshire – states a long way from Florida geographically and politically.  Thankfully, the Lord’s plans are way better than mine.  When I felt led to share Christ with a woman serving us at a hotel restaurant, assuming she didn’t know Him, we were both in for a surprise!  As soon as I mentioned Jesus, her face lit up – she and her youngest son were being baptized in two weeks!

We had a long conversation about both her sons, asking for prayer for one who isn’t a believer.  So glad I chose to #DropMyStone – I needed a reminder that God is at work in people and places we may not expect.”

Ernie’s Story…

“Ironically, as part of this project I had to #DropMyStone against Facebook!  I left Facebook years ago because having meaningful conversations here felt like swimming upstream against their user experience.  Only after I received healing prayer last night did I realize I felt shame for abandoning the people here, therefore had subconsciously shifted that blame onto Facebook.

I had been wondering why I felt so much anxiety and reluctance to re-engage.  But when somebody prayed for me to be “cleansed of impurities” I realized that there was an “orphan” part of me that hadn’t learned to trust Jesus: the part of me that reacted badly to Facebook, which I had appeased rather than healed.

And that’s okay.  There is a time and place for everything, and it wasn’t the right time back then to work through all of that.  But that unresolved issue still lingered in the back of my head and caused negative feelings whenever I thought about having to spend time on Facebook.

I am excited to say that God has cleansed me of that fear, and I now look forward to getting to know all of you better.  For the Kingdom of God is stronger than any algorithm, if we humble ourselves and allow God to cleanse us.”

What’s Your Story?…

Have you used restraint and “held your tongue” recently when tempted to lash out at someone expressing anti-Christian perspectives on social media?  If so, thank you for dropping your stone.  Now, take the next (more radical) step of praying for that person, doing something nice for them, or even sharing the Gospel.  Then encourage friends to follow your lead by telling that story on Facebook, Instagram, or X (Twitter) using the hashtag #DropMyStone.

Many Christians wonder how they should respond to political opponents.  The stories featured in today’s blog post are helpful examples.  What they all have in common is a heart of confession, not letting “your left hand know what your right hand is doing” but letting “your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven”.  In other words, those participating in Drop The Stone are repenting of prior condemnation and committing to obey Jesus’ command to #DropMyStone during this divisive Presidential election season – and beyond.

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