Wednesday, November 9, 2016

You didn't ask...

I walk around through social media recently and find less and less reason to post anything.  Well, except for Instagram...who doesn't like a cool picture of a sunset?

I guess I find little in life so important to take a stand, especially one big enough that with forethought  know I am going to honk off, alienate, or just dismiss quite a few folks with whom my current personal leanings might be in conflict.  They didn't ask for my views on this stuff...they just wanted to  keep up with each other.  (You dear reader, didn't ask either...last chance to walk away now, this is just something I wanted to get down in this diary of sorts I occasionally write.)

Sure, today I am most struck in this by the US election.  To be honest it has baffled me since youth the do or die mentality with one's selected party or candidate.  Voting is a right, responsibility even perhaps, but the lengths to which people will stump for or yell for their candidate escapes me.  Have we such a short view of history to think that each individual presidency is really life or death for a country, a region or a family?  And are we so short sighted as to really think any of these candidates is worthy of such devotion...or the opposite candidate worthy of your time devoted to hate?  And even worse...directing that verbal diarrhea to those that support for whatever their reasons that candidate or party?

I could also liken this to die hard support of sports teams.  I don't hate your team or the players on it.  I don't hate your candidate or their candidate, even if I would not vote for them, find their political views "in error" or if I find them immoral or worse.   I don't hate the leaders of North Korea, or any country...or any individual.  

When it comes to hate or hateful feelings like that...what has that done for you lately...or ever?

Sure, you need to be informed, make informed decisions (where do you get information that is good and true?) and faith should permeate all aspects of life.  But where did that then cross over into your identity being in a candidate or party?

Oddly this is all helpful to me (and the reason for posting here), because I am so struck and then reminded that Christ is the rock, the only rock, on which I stand.  He is in control, and our struggling and yelling at other people about all this is ultimately not helpful.

Think about it...if you were to engage with others about religion this way, how successful do you think you would be in seeing souls transformed for Christ?  Do we go around telling everyone how their religion or God is wrong, stupid or hateful?  Some do I know, but I have not seen that as a Biblical example.  Love people...not people like you, that think like you, just people.  Help people, and let them know the reason you are helping is Jesus.

Galatians 5 ESV
13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another. 

Luke 9:23 and more, The Message
Then he told them what they could expect for themselves: “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat—I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you?

So I will do my best to will myself to choose love.  Not just about my or anyone's politics or religion...but preferred vehicle brand, music taste, grammar, TV show...everything.  I am going to try to lift others the way I have been lifted by Christ.  I do not do that well, I have not historically done that as well as I could, and I probably still suck at it and will for a while, but I need to strive to do better.  And not on some grandiose macro level...I need to do better myself, in my family, and in my job...but not of myself, but Christ in me.