Today, I want to offer one final tip for being an ambassador of hope and change in a divided world. After we have listened and forgiven, the third and most important thing we can do to facilitate healing is to reach out. When’s the last time you sat down across the table from someone who holds a view that is different than yours? If you haven’t done so recently, I encourage you to make such an effort soon. While it might be outside of your comfort zone, it’s important to embrace the discomfort of hearing a different perspective for the sake of growth. While you don’t have to agree with everything someone espouses, it’s important to keep an open mind and do your best to put yourself in their shoes. Never waver in your commitment to Biblical truth and make the Word of God the basis of your convictions, but don’t shy away from tough conversations, and by all means, engage other people in order to hear their stories. As Dr. Martin Luther King once famously said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” So be the light that proactively helps to heal the wedges that have been dug deeper through the years by intentionally working through differences.
My friend, you are the compassionate, loving, forgiving, and listening presence that this broken world desperately desires. Hurting people need to see Christ in you, to experience His Spirit that hovers over you, to know His power that cloaks you, and to feel His love that permeates you. Because you listen to and care deeply for the lost, you offer the hope that dries tears, and in so doing, your life illuminates the distinct difference between two paths. Since you are willing to stand in the gap with the broken and love them back to life, you offer a way out of darkness and your actions make the road of righteousness an easy one to follow. As you go forth in the power of Jesus’ chain-breaking compassion, you win the hearts of many by building bridges and creating a safe space where differences can be embraced with dignity.