Some people want God to be a judge until they experience a moment of personal brokenness. At that point they want a God of mercy. Some people want police officers to be a replica of Barney Fife from Mayberry until they are faced with a life-threatening situation. At that point that want a well-equipped, professional and muscular police response. Some people want to control the rights of another person or group until their rights are challenged. At that point they want a free and open society where individual rights are honored.
It is in the space of time called “at that point” where God has the greatest access to our hearts. This is where mercy, wisdom and compassion motivates our decisions and seasons our response to those with whom we disagree. Change outside of this space is forced and graceless. In an unredeemed space our collective ignorance will continue to breed separation and defensiveness.
It is only “at that point” where real cultural transformation is possible – one person at a time. Culture is complex because each human story is complex. Give people time to arrive “at that point”. Until that time review the fruit of the Spirit and let the flavor of that fruit sweeten each and every response you have with those still in transit to a better understanding. Don’t give up your civility. If you choose to live this way history will quote your words and follow your example.