“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice”
(Please read 1 Peter 3:15-16)
What do you think – are political campaigns too long or too short? Whatever your answer to that question, you probably would agree that there is indeed value in having campaigns of some length or other, to provide a way for the exchange of ideas which, in theory at least, will help produce better-informed voters.
Letting our opinions be known may add to the overall knowledge of the electorate, but there may be some side effects which are not so desirable.
For one thing, many people present their ideas as if they are iron-clad or engraved in stone and cannot possible be changed in any respect. They have the extremism of a dogmatist and the stubbornness of a bulldog.
And even when those assertive people have some good ideas, others may have trouble accepting or even considering them because of the way they are presented.
These attitudes are not exclusive to politics, of course. Religion ranks right up there with politics as an area in which there are widely differing views and in which people can fall in love with their own opinions and cling to them to the exclusion of further reasoning, as if their minds have taken in all they are ever going to and are now closed for the duration.
As followers of the Lord, let’s remember that the best way to present the good news to others is “with gentleness and respect” (NIV). If we don’t cause the first bad side effect mentioned above, we’re not likely to encounter the second. And our words in defense of the gospel will mean much more to the hearer.