For Such a Time as This

It seems each day brings more bad news of man’s inhumanity to man. Terror attacks across the globe continue unabated, and have now reached American soil. While Americans will temporarily unite against such atrocities, we battle each other in the name of politics and power. Political campaigns have degraded to mud-slinging and name-calling contests similar to the antics of children establishing their dominion on the playground. We have made moral issues into political issues, asserting our “right” to practice anything we want in the name of freedom. And now the question of who is “right” is dividing families and alienating friends.

What is so sad is that we have brought this upon ourselves. “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” (Psalm 33:12) Where history supports that this nation was once truly blessed (while not immune from issues), no one can look at what is happening today and claim that blessing is still there. We have pushed God out in favor of running things ourselves – exerting our independence. He has allowed us to have it.

But, while the climate in this country seems depressing, God has not changed and has not forsaken His children. He is waiting for us to come to our senses. “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.” (Ro 12:3) Perhaps if we are having trouble discerning where our personal repentance should start, we need to be asking God to give us the faith to see it. In other words, if I am blasting a political candidate for lying, where am I guilty of lying about anything? Instead of pointing the finger and assigning blame, where have I been guilty of complacency and/or selfishness? If I am angry because right has been called wrong, and wrong has been called right, do I love those engaging in error enough to pray blessings over them? (There is no blessing greater than knowing Jesus.)

Paul tells us in Romans 12:21, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” This might be our greatest challenge, as we individually ponder what we can do that is good enough to overcome the evil we see around us. Ironically, that line of thinking takes us right back to the verse that instructs us not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought. For, in coming up with a plan of action, we have unofficially declared ourselves good/righteous enough to have a plan. No matter how good the plan appears on the surface, if it did not originate from God’s voice, then it is human reasoning and fallible – filthy rags. Jesus said, “No one is good — except God alone.” (Luke 18:19)

Perhaps it is our own goodness that God is waiting for us to confess and turn from. Only then are we available to be covered in Jesus’ righteousness. As we give Him Lordship over our hearts and minds, we have the opportunity to see through His eyes, and love with His heart. The result will be very different from anything we could come up with.