How does a leader lead when the crowds are divided with different opinions, views, mindsets, political affiliations, and biblical interpretations? Sheesh, so much division. I’m not sure how everybody else does it, but I know what the Lord’s told me during this season of leading others—trying to find common ground with people who disagree all the time often comes when they’re passing by each other like ships in the night. For one brief second, they see eye to eye and then continue to the other side of the street.
Being a person who hates conflict being a leader in times of conflict has caused me to seek an even deeper understanding of leading during times of division. I HAD to know how Jesus did it when he walked this broken blue marble. He came and brought The Kingdom during times of division. Romans were ruling God’s chosen people. And His beloved children were in classic sibling rivalry. Yet, Jesus is quoted as saying that He did not come to bring peace but more division. What a brain twister, eh? Why would He want to divide them even more? Here are my thoughts; it was to get them away from their destructive opinions and come together with a new political and religious choice; The Kingdom of God and the way of grace
“Perhaps you think I’ve come to spread peace and calm over the earth—but my coming will bring conflict and division, not peace.”
Matthew 10:34 TPT
He came to bring another way. Another option. Thee way. The grace way. What better way to pull a nation together that is torn apart by religion and politics than to present another Kingdom and a new path to God. (Insert sarcasm)
Jesus presented His ancient truth. The origin of the beginning. The plan all along. He crushed religion and challenged opinions. He confronted hypocrisy, called out the entrapment of religion, and commanded love! He stood unflinchingly, leading with a new movement into an unknown Kingdom. The times don’t seem much different to me as of late, so taking a page from King Jesus is where I’ve tried to lean in towards. Sure, I have my own political views, but I try not to impose them on others. However, when it comes to choosing Kingdom principles, that’s different than political views. You see, earthly politics will divide, but His Kingdom rules will unite. Religious opinions will create conflict, but true religion serves, adopts, loves, gives, and cares for another.
Navigating during times of conflict means aligning only with the side of truth, even when it’s not popular. Seeking His Kingdom first and choosing life and all its abundant ways. Loving and leading unflinchingly when division is at its highest means anchoring deep to HIS truths; this world is not our home. We are Kingdom people sent to take as many earthlings as possible with us to heaven. Sometimes standing on the truth and standing up for truth will divide people that we are called to lead. It can make you unpopular. You may even lose followers and friends. I’m okay with this.
I have a lot to say about where I see God’s people stand as of late, but these are just my thoughts. What I would lead and direct them to do (if they asked me) is this: Search your heart. If your opinion requires you to harass, belittle, beat down, accuse, judge, pit one another against each other, incite an argument, prove yourself right, mic drop with a phrase that resists another’s view, twist the truth and scripture to fit your narrative, then you are not walking in the truth that tells us to come and let us reason together. And if at all possible, live at peace with each other. We will not agree all the time, but that doesn’t mean we should always fight.
You can only lead unflinchingly if you’re leaning into the absolute truth, even when disagreed with. But if those who follow you, trust you, trust your insight or instinct and the mantle on you, they will still follow you even if they disagree with you. (See 1 Samuel 30) because they know that you’re not leading them selfishly or with selfish ambition. Love is the lead when you are guiding others on diverse days.