The Usual Aspects

Jesus clearly taught evil and sin is not what goes into our mouths but what comes out of it from the abundance of the heart. (Matthew 15:17-18)

newheresies.com

newheresies.com

Clinton, Bush, Sanders, O’Malley, Paul, Huckabee, grilling, bashing, debunking, soliciting, accusing, claiming, peaking, raging, flip-flopping, pledging. And we still have such a long way to go.

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:31-32)

When did lying and “manipulating” facts and mudslinging become commonplace? When did we become a nation that expects and accepts it as the norm? When did we become okay with “the lesser of two evils?” Exactly when did our standards for service in public office rank lower than our standards for cable TV service?

When did divisional politics become more important than the unity of believers?

And to the politicians: when did your agenda or your desire to win become more important than His message of love and relationship? When did sarcasm become more important than encouragement? When did stepping stones become more important than servanthood?

What this adds up to, then, is this: no more lies, no more pretense. Tell your neighbor the truth. In Christ’s body we’re all connected to each other, after all. When you lie to others, you end up lying to yourself. Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. (Ephesians 4:25, 29)

Are you determined to have your own way, or determined to be identified with the love and grace Jesus poured out on you when he cleaned your slate and brought you into the family of God? Do you still have ears to hear, or are you using your mouth in a way that drowns out the sound of the Holy Spirit?

There’s a story one of my pastors told last weekend at church that seems relevant here.

The captain of a ship looked out into the dark of night and saw a faint light in the distance. He immediately told his signal man to send a message, “Alter your course ten degrees south. You are headed straight for us.”

Promptly a message came back, “Alter your course ten degrees north. You are headed straight for us.”

The captain was angered. He immediately returned communication. “Alter your course. I am the captain.”

Once again communication returned. “Alter your course. I am a seaman third class.”

The captain was now incensed. “Alter your course! We are a battleship!”

The response came. “Alter your course. We are a lighthouse.”

I tell you, on the day of judgment, people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:36-37)

14 comments

  1. It has always served me well to limit my social media exposure. No Facebook for this boy. Very little news. I find if I get up each day someone will share their thoughts and burdens with me. That in its self is plenty for me. I did enjoy the post Susan.

    Much love Tom

    Like

    1. Me, too, Tom. Me, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have always loved that story about the Lighthouse and refer to it frequently myself to illustrate the false assumptions we make when we don’t know all the facts.

    I think the key to the political climate is that it is run by moneyed interests drive the entire political process in this country. True Christian tenets cannot be employed in this environment. The truly upstanding and devout cannot be elected. That is my analysis.

    We are given a handful of choices, all of them have to be backed by billionaires. Why do we expect any other behavior when that is the framework in which the politician is forced to work?

    I no longer expect much from them because their hands and feet are tied. So, I pick the nicest, most sincere among them who is also committed to the average person’s welfare, not their corporate masters.

    That is my two cents worth. It doesn’t make me happy to believe this, but my conclusions come from years and years of observation and reflection on this very subject.

    Like

    1. I think I have to agree with you, Beth. My fervent hope is those who truly follow Jesus will not get sucked into the Facebook and Twitter fray that eventually occurs when political committees attempt to goad us into anger, hate and division.
      My gut aches when I see it happening, particularly when members of the clergy engage. They especially need to stand above the fracas and urge their congregations to do the same, while concurrently urging them to pray for whoever ends up in office.

      Like

      1. It will be a mark of their true understanding of Christ’s message if they can stay above the fray. Let’s pray for this, Susan.

        Like

      2. Amen to that, my friend.

        Like

  3. That sounds about where we all are. When did that all happen?

    Like

    1. Truthfully, Susan, I think it’s been going on forever. I just think our tolerance is finally changing. And can I get an Amen to that?!?

      Like

      1. AMEN!!!

        Like

  4. Lori K · ·

    Bravo 😉

    Like

    1. Thanks, Lori. (sigh)

      Like

  5. Good word, Susan, as the political climate heats up. Amen and amen! The political spirit (leaven of Herod – Mark 8:13), which is not necessarily the same thing as politics, is factious and manipulative. It always has been. It’s driven, and drives people, by fear rather than love. As you said, we as Christians shouldn’t play into its hand. The Kingdom of God runs on honor and love. We need to pray for our leaders not bash and demonize them.
    Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely, Mel. And as the committees begin to strategize and ads begin to heat up, so will Facebook and Twitter. All our pastors – and all of us who believe in the gospel of love and grace – need to call for a moratorium. Instead of responding in any way, we all need to simply walk away.

      Liked by 1 person

%d bloggers like this: