So Much Division
If God appeared to you today and said, “I will give you one gift to use as you see fit,” what would you choose? Power? Wealth? Good health? Or would you choose something that is on God’s heart? Wisdom and understanding?
Each morning as I scroll through social media and flip through the news, I see so much division among our nation. Political, religious and economic division which separates us and calls us to take sides.
Merriam-Webster defines division as: “the act or process of dividing” or “the condition or an instance of being divided in opinion or interest.”
The Need to be Right
We all have our own opinions, don’t we?
Opinions that have been formed from our life experiences and circumstances. Ones that shape how we view these topics of division.
So, when disagreements arise, I think the first thing we tend to do is choose a side to stand on and we often make decisions to argue with the intention of proving just how right our side is.
We fuel the debate by listening only “to respond” and further our position. Rarely do we listen with the intention of understanding or, better yet, trying to create a workable solution.
And in our own minds, we are always right. Our ways are always best and those who disagree are simply standing on the wrong side.
Perhaps our thoughts are fueled by pride, an inflated ego, maybe even coming from a stance of self-righteousness or knowing best.
Unfortunately, it’s not just in our interactions with those we encounter online or with passing acquaintances that this problem exists.
This need to be right, to stand on the “winning side,” flows into our personal relationships as well. It influences our marriages, our children’s lives, our friends and our co-workers.
Solomon Seeking Wisdom and Understanding
I wonder how things might change if we stepped back to view these conflicts from God’s perspective and not our own or if we chose to seek wisdom and understanding amidst these divisions instead of pursuing the need to be right.
The Bible is full of stories of people who chose this path of seeing God’s perspective to resolve their differences of opinion. One of my favorites is the story of King Solomon.
You’ll remember that Solomon was King David’s son and took over rule when David died. 2 Chronicles 1:1 (NIV) tells us that Solomon “established himself firmly over his kingdom, for the LORD his God was with him and made him exceedingly great.”
With that greatness came a spirit of humility. A spirit that sought peace and unity among God’s people, not one of division and strife.
Solomon chose to pursue the things that were on God’s heart. We see evidence of this as God appeared to Solomon and said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” 2 Chron 1:7 (NIV)
Out of a humble heart posture, we see Solomon ask for the gifts of wisdom and knowledge. He could have asked for anything he wanted: wealth, being right, or even the defeat of his enemies.
But he chose the better gifts. Wisdom and understanding. As he asked for gifts that made God smile, God blessed him in other areas as well.
“Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold.” Prov 3:13-14 (NIV)
You see, from wisdom comes a perspective that sees things differently. It sees people as God sees them. It speaks truth in love, not division. Wisdom seeks understanding, not a need to be right. And above all else, it seeks to lift God’s Kingdom here on Earth.
Let’s choose to pray for God’s wisdom and understanding next time we feel called to draw a line in the sand and pick a side. Let’s pray for eyes to see others as God sees them. And let’s have a spirit of humility that pleases God as we speak His truth in love, not division.