We love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19)
As Christians we see the world differently. When we look at the world, we see the world through the lens of God’s love. Out of gratitude, we love because of God’s love for us (Romans 5:10). He loves each and every one of us unconditionally (1 John 4:9-10). God loves us so much that Jesus gave himself for us by dying in our place (John 3:16). God did not wait for us to get our act together. No, he did it for the ungodly, that is for sinners like us (Romans:5:6-8).
So as Christians, we imitate God and love all people (Ephesians 5:1-2). We walk in love. What does this love look like? First, love is more than words. Love expresses itself in action. Second, love is sacrificial, meaning that you put the needs of the other person ahead of your own and do what is best for them. Third, you actually care for the people you are loving.
Because of our relationship with God, we recognize that we are in the same situation as everyone else. We all are broken, self-centered sinners in need of God’s love and forgiveness (Romans 3:10-12). God loves everyone fully just as we are, and wants to bring us in relationship with him. God loves us so much that he does not leave us the way we are, but instead he works in us to improve us and to make us holy. In the same way that he loves us he commands us to love one another (John 13:34-35 ). God has called us to love not just the people we like, but also our enemies (Matthew 5:43-48). This is how we can respond to his amazing love.
I am certain the average American does not view the world through the lens of God’s love. Many Americans view the world in terms of power. Many times those terms of power are expressed in terms of oppression. Viewing the world in terms of power is divisive because doing so divides the world into winners and losers, oppressors and the oppressed, liberals and conservatives, etc. I believe this is one of the main reasons why things are so divisive today.
As Christians, I believe we can make a difference by showing love to people we disagree with. I believe this is the best way to change minds and unite people. However, I also believe loving takes time. We need to be in it for the long term and be patient. I believe it is the main way God wants to use us to change lives. We need to be wise in the meekness of the wisdom that is from above (James 3:13).
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. (James 3:17-18)
And we can make use of the fruit of the Spirit that we have been given.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Galatians 5:22-24)
Acting in love, using Godly wisdom and the fruit of the Spirit, looks very different from the way the world acts, but I believe acting this way reconciles people and brings peace. It does not carry with it the added problems that arise from having a power focused worldview. We can make a difference in the world today by loving others.