Several weeks ago, I sat down at my computer and reviewed my history. I wanted to see what my teenage son had been browsing while I was at work. Sadly, I found him wasting time on web sites and games that were not part of his homeschool agenda. So, being a responsible father, I changed the password on the computer, and he went without the computer for a few weeks. When I decided to let him back on, I was watching him like a hawk and if there was any more inappropriate webbing, he would have been stuck using the library for the better part of a year.
What does that have to do with us? I think we can agree that the election on Nov 8th was unexpected. For those who were praying for the truth to come out and for our nation to take a turn, it was a miracle. Ben Franklin noted at the Constitutional Convention that God works in the affairs of men. God showed up this month.
Many people have been praying over the 2 Chronicles 7:14 scripture, which says, “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” Read that passage again. Then do it again. Does the scripture say that the land would be instantly healed? Did it say that we would have a godly righteous nation given back to us to try to keep together? No, it says none of that. I truly believe that we have stepped into the promise of 2 Chronicles 7:14. I have never seen so much prayer and petition to God to heal this nation as I saw leading up to this election. I firmly believe that he waved his hand over our country and he started the healing.
But that gets to the heart of the issue. God helped us out, by starting us on a path. Much like I did with my son after I gave him the new password to the computer. He has to work to make sure he follows the rules. He has to put up with the frequent oversight and questions. He has to put up with a little bit of mistrust until my faith in him is restored. We, as a society, got started on the path, now we have to do the work to keep that promise alive. The healing of our land is not a miraculous instant healing, but the slow knitting together of bones, separated and rubbing together for a long time. The open wounds are still bleeding. The people and society needs a steady loving hand, but we have to prove we are worthy of that. The best way I can interpret this is it’s time for Christ’s Church to rise up and come together with love, to provide the moral underpinnings that we so desperately need. Our society doesn’t need safety pins and safe spaces, we need the unconditional love that comes from Christ himself. We need that expressed by his followers on this earth so we can see “Your kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven.”
I’m not sure what that means for me, but I will be trying to show love to everyone. Even to those who riot, and protest, even to those who don’t look like me, even to those who don’t worship like me, even to those who have different lifestyles than me, even to those who I fervently disagree with, I will treat them with love and respect.
How about you?
Now that the American Election is over, it’s time to move forward and start to live again. We have spent the last year in debates, discussions, arguments, prayer, rallies, and sermons all aimed at the election. It’s over. Donald Trump has won the nod to be the next President of the United States. All the other elections happened as well. A friend of mine was voted in to the city council of a local municipality by 18 votes. Those votes mattered.
So now what? Do we turn to the College Football Playoffs and the NHL to occupy our time? I think we need to take the passion wrapped around the election and channel that into really making a difference in our communities, our faith, our nation and the world.
Here is what I would propose as the agenda for the first 100 days:
First, make a personal commitment to drive hate out of your language. The first step is to quit using the word hate. It sounds too simple, but instead of looking at something distasteful and “I hate that!” You say, “I don’t like that.” It takes emotion out of the discussion and allows the discussion to continue.
Second, make another personal commitment to have conversations aimed not at telling somebody else your point of view, but to listen to the other point of view. See if there is common ground you can work on, find a point of understanding. I cannot understand the struggle of the black community, because I’m not black, but I sure want to talk to people in that community to understand it.
Third, treat everybody you meet with respect. There is nobody who is less important or worse than you. Christ tells us that we have to make ourselves less. “The least will be the greatest.” We can’t do that if all we have in mind is self-promotion and entitlement.
Fourth, this one was hard for me to learn, and it still takes work. Assume positive intent. This means that we enter a discussion or debate ASSUMING the other party is trying to find common ground and a way to solve the problem. Not that they are entering a boxing ring looking to take you out. Just think of how this would change our national stage.
Fifth, demand integrity. I firmly believe that Hillary Clinton was shot down due to the innuendo about her shady dealings. I don’t know for sure, that is my belief. But we need to make sure that we have the highest levels of integrity and character in our dealings with others.
These first five are simple ways in the workplace, at home, at church, or at a public gathering we can show love to our fellow man. The greatest of all commandments by Christ is to love God, the second is to love one another. So if we are subject to the Lordship of Christ, these should not be hard to follow. The next few will be harder.
Sixth, we have to hold life sacred. The Declaration of Independence says, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” We have to live up to the statement of our own freedom. If we don’t hold life sacred from the point of conception, we are dooming ourselves to compromise at best, destruction at worst. This does not mean to attack the “right to choose” people. But to show your love for life and keep it sacred. I would like to see a Constitutional Amendment that defines citizenship, that includes citizenship upon conception.
Seventh, we have to defend the family. This means that the nuclear family of one man, one woman should be the goal of society. Yes, there will be some who will not like that goal, and want to redefine it to suit their own earthly desires. We cannot change the nature of man, any more than we can change the nature of God. God has set forth the ways that he wants us to live, and man will find ways to justify doing it otherwise. I honestly don’t believe we will change the supreme court ruling, but we honor the family and family values without becoming hateful or preachy.
Hillary and President Obama both mentioned “rule of law” in their speeches today. I think we must demand that all persons follow the law of the land. All the laws, we don’t get to pick and choose. If we have a bad law, let’s get the courts or the lawmaking bodies to change them. But the President, heads of corporations, or Joe the plumber each are subject to the same set of laws and will be held to the same standard.
Second Chronicles 7:14 says, “.. if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” I believe we got the first answer to our pleas. We now have to do the hard work to ensure the complete healing. We do this best by starting with love.
Here is the kicker, I labeled this post the First Hundred Days, but you know when that First Hundred Days starts?