Answering Controversy With Love
by Drenda Keesee
How Jesus Handled Controversy
Jesus wasn’t afraid of controversy—He constantly broke social norms and sported unpopular opinions. So, that brings up the question: How do we engage in controversy in a healthy way, like Jesus did?
The key is that Jesus spoke the truth in a way that people could receive. He spoke the truth in love (see Ephesians 4:15). It’s impossible to speak the truth in love if we are coming from a place of anger, self-righteousness, or simply seeking to stir up drama. When we are tempted to share an opinion or engage in a lively Facebook debate, we have to stop and ask ourselves, Who does this benefit? Is this only to benefit me and my pride, or will this edify those who read it?
We must choose to stand on the side of love, period.
If we aren’t operating out of love, then the Bible compares us to a clanging cymbal. It’s just a whole lot of noise!
Unity is forged in our willingness to see the situation from the other person’s perspective. When we look at it from different angles, we can see where everyone is coming from. We may not always agree on the particulars, but love gives us a common vision.
When we stand in agreement, we have the victory. What awesome power there is in unity!
It is possible for everyone’s heart to be right—even when we’re coming from two sides of the same coin. Someone doesn’t have to lose for everyone to win.
Strife is a dangerous game you don’t want to play. You may win the argument, but strife comes at a high cost. It opens the door to the enemy, robs you of your peace, and short-circuits God’s access into your life.
Titus 3:9-10 encourage us,
But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them.”
How Can We Bring Healing to Our Nation?
The Bible tells us how, and it’s so simple, it’s almost easy to discount. When we replace judgment, strife, and hate with what Jesus did, the outcome is POWERFUL.
1. Love others the way Christ loves you.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34).
2. Forgive—even when it’s hard.
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:31-32).
3. Extend the same kindness to others you wish they would extend to you.
“Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:31).
Those three, simple things are how Jesus went head-to-head with the social norms in His day. They’re effective, they’re powerful, and most importantly, they help to unite us, rather than divide us.
Jesus was willing to die on the cross to spread the good news of love for everyone, no matter the color of their skin. Let’s help carry that same message of love to the world.
Drenda Keesee’s contagious zeal and humorous personal experiences help make her ministry of spiritual, emotional and relational wholeness one that will bless your life and spark a new fire in your spirit.
A wife of over 30 years and a mother of five children, Drenda has ministered at churches, seminars, and conferences, and through the mediums of television and radio, for more than 20 years.
Her books, The New Vintage Family, Better Than You Think, and She Gets It are available wherever books are sold. In these heartfelt books, Drenda shares her personal journey and the life lessons that have brought her to where she is today, as well as practical answers that all people need to live a joyful life.
Drenda and her husband Gary founded Faith Life Now, a ministry designed to spread the message of freedom in the areas of finances, faith, marriage, and family. Tune in for their weekly messages here. Faith Life Now hosts conferences worldwide, and sponsors both Fixing the Money Thing, which Drenda co-hosts with her husband Gary, and Drenda.
Through their own life experiences, the Keesees have found the principles from God’s Word to be powerful and effective. At one point, Drenda was a young, suicidal feminist with no hope of ever being “good enough” for her own standards of perfection. She never wanted the “inconvenience” of a husband or children, and she was on her own path to success. But the stress of trying to achieve perfection and perform for love left her broken and used. She had success, but it was nothing compared to the pain and loneliness it had also brought.
That’s when God got a hold of her heart. It was there—at her lowest point—that she found the One who accepted and loved her, faults and all. Since that transformation, Drenda has had a passion to reach women who find themselves where she once was.
She married Gary after attending college, and there she found herself in a personal boot camp of sorts. She says, “I cried and told God, ‘I can do anything but be a wife and mother.’” She committed to learning how to do it God’s way. Through the many years of raising their children and struggling to make ends meet, Drenda learned from their mistakes. “I didn’t know how to be a wife and mother, but God saved our marriage, taught us how to parent our children for success, showed us how to have financial success, and then irony of all ironies, He called us to ministry.” It’s truly because of these life experiences that Drenda can now share so many insightful principles for people who are now going through the same struggles.