As I sit here in Bigby Coffee on Wednesday, June 14 in the morning, the news is pretty dark…
A High rise in London burns, with scores of potential victims…
World markets teeter ever closer to a ‘bubble’ that may be economically devastating…
The threat of terrorism, mostly from radical Islamic believers seems ever more present…
The US and Russia, along with their surrogates, escalate their conflicts (and potential for disaster) in the Middle East, and now…
Several Republican lawmakers and their security detail are shot at a baseball practice in Alexandria, VA near Washington.
Lots of thoughts in my mind and emotions in my heart right now…
Two main points I think need to be made:
- We MUST think about where ‘the road we’re on’ leads. If we don’t learn again to ‘talk’ to each other. To ‘discuss’ things with some degree of respect for people who differ from us, this violence will continue to escalate, and come closer and closer to our own homes and lives.
The vitriol–mostly over political things–in our culture over the past year has reached the point where it is destroying friendships, workplaces, and families. To be sure, there are significant issues to be discussed…and they will make a significant difference in life in the here and now…but one thing that has been a hallmark of the United States over the years is that we’ve been able to maintain some degree of peace and respect, even while strongly disagreeing…because we’ve maintained that we are the ‘UNITED States of America’ and need to think ‘big picture’, so that we keep moving forward together. Recently, that is not the case. Political party seems to be elevated in importance, to the point that we feel justified in disrespecting…attacking and today, apparently, shooting those who disagree! If this does not change, we will self-destruct!
This is irrational and short-sighted.
Think of it: even if you got Everyone to agree with you Completely in the political realm, it would still only have an ‘earthly’ impact…even assuming that all of your ideas were ‘right’ (not very likely, by the way)…it could not change anything other than the here-and-now political climate.
That brings me to point 2:
2) We need to re-learn to think from an ‘eternal’ perspective.
For Christians, that means that we can’t get ‘sucked in’ to the political ‘us vs. them’ discussion. We have to push back from that discussion and keep our minds on the fact that the Lord calls us to be ‘salt and light’ in this world.
Matthew 5:13-16: “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
He also calls us to ‘Love God, and Love others’ . Matthew 22:37-40: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
The number one thing we should be about is the Kingdom of God, and spreading the good news about Jesus–inviting others to receive His gracious gift of eternal life, and adoption into the family of God.
THAT is ‘the thing‘ that will matter for ETERNITY.
Therefore, to get sucked into the downward spiral of political warfare–which seems to be what we have now–is, at best, unwise.
So, if you’re a Christ-follower, remember: More than anything else, you live for Him. You represent Him, and you need to reflect His heart to this world, that is increasingly being deceived into rejecting Him. They think they’re enlightened. They think they’re free and independent. They’re not–they’re deceived.
If you’re a Christian, make sure that YOU are not!
Titus 3: 1-9:
“Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2 to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.
3 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. 8 This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.
9 But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless.”
The REAL impact you and I can have on people is not Political…it’s Spiritual.
Keep that in mind as you respond to the news of the day!