Archive for June, 2018

      I have sat down at my desk many times over the past year with the intent of writing. Yet, all that I seem to be able to communicate is a deep seeded frustration. The moment I put my fingers to the keyboard in front of me swells of frustration begin to rise to the surface. It is almost as if that writing draws out a whole new level of pain in my soul. I then typically will write for five minutes or so and then just call it quits.
      While my quitting is partially because I do not want to focus in on the pain that exists within me it also happens because there have been many moments in recent memory that my souls frustration could not adequately be shared. There simply were no words strong enough in my vocabulary that would adequately detail my inner angst.
      I have an exhausted soul. One that is tired of the fighting, the anger, the hostility and downright vitriol that exists every moment of every day. At first glance our world appears to be a hopeless case. I have lost all hope in politics. I struggle to believe that the right thing is even being pursued by either side of the aisle. While those in power do not do everything wrong, it is undeniable that those steeped in one of the big parties cannot even sit at the table with their opponents. Their methodology has simply become trying to out scream the other side. The art of negotiation, compromise and civility seems to have disappeared from those who claim to be leading our nation into so-called progress. This fighting has crept out of Washington and invaded the nation and is viewed as ok as people pursue the methodology of winning at all cost. As I witness this I am reminded of the words of Jesus when He said, “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?” (Luke 9.25)
      At some point we have lost our way. Many have become so focused in on winning policy that they have forgotten to fight for people. People instead of being the focus have become obstacles and must be moved by any means necessary to make a point. We have sacrificed those that we must try to reach on the alter of our rightness. How this happened and continues to be ok causes me to lose sleep. I recognize that I do not always get it right but my prayer is that when I breath my last that people would not list how I fought against them but rather how I fought for them. I pray that my life will be marked by my love and compassion more that it is marked by my desire to have my own way and have my opinions heard. After all is this not suppose to be the mark of a true follower of Christ? Jesus was asked quite pointedly what the greatest commandment was and He responded without hesitation; Love. He said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22.36-40)
      Simply put, Jesus says, if you aren’t loving God and loving people you are missing the whole point. Jesus says that the second commandment “is like it”. Meaning if you fail in loving people you fail in loving God properly. You are missing it. In fact Jesus says, if you get the whole love thing wrong then you have missed everything. The entire law and the prophets depend on the concept of love.  
      This is why we must see people first. We must choose to focus on people before our opinions. We must see people as image bearers of a holy God. We must see people as the targets of God’s love that caused Him to send His Son die as a sacrifice for. For this reason the believer who is unable to divorce his nationalism from his faith will only go so deep in His relationship with God. Our theology must not be driven by our political affiliations but rather the other way around. Our theology must drive how we view policy because policy affects people and we are to be madly in love with people. Why: It’s commanded and modeled by God the Father and by Jesus our Savior.
      The hatred stops one person at a time. The fighting stops one person at a time. The anger stops one person at a time. That one person can be you. You can choose to put down the weapons of hate and pick up the downtrodden. You can choose to put down preconceived notions and lend a helping hand. You can choose to put down thoughts of judgment and offer hope to the hopeless. You can extend a hand in love those in need if you should so choose to direct your energy in the correct direction. Yet some of that energy must first be directed toward yourself. Christine Caine said, “We have so many Christians who want to change the world, but they don’t want to change themselves.” Allow your heart to be transformed! If you allow God to change your heart, He can use you to change someone else’s life.  
      Commit to being ambassadors of God’s truth and love rather than soldiers of personal opinions.  
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.