I can’t believe I’m writing this. It goes against everything inside of me. But maybe that’s a good thing. Because what’s inside of me is oftentimes just a bad, sinful heart.
A friend of mine told me something profound: relationships are built on three statements: “Hi.” “Thank you.” And “I’m sorry.” There’s a lot of truth to that. So I’m going to take up that last one and issue an apology to someone I thought I’d never apologize to. Someone that my Twitter bio even listed as my “enemy.”
Yes, I apologize to the current GOP front-runner, Mr. Donald Trump.
Mr. Trump, I’ve allowed my anger at you to lead me into sin. Now, I’m not saying I’m not still opposing your growing movement. I believe your campaign stands in direct opposition to the passions the Lord has given me and the principles laid out in Scripture.
But in my frustration, I’ve moved past mere opposition to your campaign. I’ve moved into the realm of “speaking evil” of you. This dawned on me this past week when I heard a message in Titus 3. The passage is indicting:
Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people (vs. 1-2).
To speak evil of no one? Really, Paul? Dude, I don’t think you had a Trump back in your day. Or for that matter, a Hillary Clinton. Oh wait, he was writing under Emperor Nero…
But to show courtesy toward ALL people? Seriously? Have you read his tweets? Have you seen him mock handicapped people? I don’t think he deserves much courtesy–he certainly hasn’t shown any!
But on the other hand, I really didn’t show any courtesy to God when He saved me.
That’s the mindset Paul is driving at here. How can we be so courteous to others? How can we submit to rulers and authorities that we don’t like? How can be “gentle” to the brash billionaire or “avoid quarreling” with the casino-owner’s supporters? It seems daunting–at least for me!
I can show courtesy to you, Mr. Trump, because of the courtesy God has shown me.
For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit… (vs. 3-5)
When I remember how God saved me–out of my foolishness, my darkness, my slavery–I will have more compassion on people. “Hated by others and hating one another” certainly sounds like a certain candidate. But it certainly sounds like me without God! “Slaves to various passions and pleasures”–it’s so easy for me to accuse you of that and not look at my own dark heart!
God’s goodness and loving kindness appeared in my life. HE SAVED ME. And He can save you, Mr. Trump. And I will pray for that to happen. Let me type that again since it was so hard to do: I WILL PRAY FOR YOU! Not just for the failure of your campaign. But for the salvation of your soul!
So I’m sorry. I’m sorry, Mr. Trump, for denigrating you and your supporters as “idiots” and “jerks.” I don’t agree with you on practically every issue, but I want you to know: I’m praying for you. I’m not sure I can say that I love you quite yet, but with God’s grace, I want to be able to grow to love even you. Because I know God does! So much that His Son had to die for your filth…and mine.
Perhaps I should delete that part about you being my “enemy” from my Twitter bio.