Whether it be strategy on confronting North Korean aggression, immigration policy, or health care, the lines of division between Democrats and Republicans are clear and in many cases, abrupt. This is done purposefully to make it easy to capture voters who think one way or the other on certain issues. It is often said that we “vote our conscience,” or vote the way that makes us feel righteous. By nature, we all, including our political leaders, like to believe that we are good-hearted, honest people. God also gave us free will to choose what we want to do in life. When you combine those factors, and turn up heat a few notches, you end up with a situation where it is easy to fall victim to fundamental attribution error. Fundamental attribution error is best described by UPenn Professor Cristina Bicchieri as, “the tendency to believe that what people do reflects who they are.” When operating with fundamental attribution error, if we see someone do something we don’t like or agree with, our reaction is to label them a bad person. Both sides have been all too quick to label each other with terrible names and fight to exile certain people from public discourse, in many cases based solely on rhetoric, policy support, or even an accidental slip of the tongue! Paul wrote in Ephesians, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” If our first instinct is to shut out and attack someone we disagree with, then we have completely missed Jesus’ entire message. Nothing is easier in life than being kind to those we agree with; but are we called to do what is easy? Jesus didn't, therefore, neither should we. Pray today for a spirit of acceptance and love for your neighbors.
"Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." -- Ephesians 4:32 ESV