2 Steps to Boldly Bring Change to the World.
Decide which word collection describes your feeling about the world and events in your country today:
Collection One: Angst Division Despair
Collection Two: Peace Unity Hope
Collection One wins this race without question! Protests that have included tragedy have occurred from Portland, Oregon to Kenosha, Wisconsin to almost every other state. Speculation exists regarding whether COVID-19 stress and isolation created the atmosphere for the USA and many other countries (have you seen what is happening in Belarus?) to become tinder boxes vacillating between ignition and blazing rage. Maybe the building political division was leading us in this direction and COVID-19 provided the elements to rush the process. I will allow others to debate why we have arrived at this destination, but my challenge to Christians and non-Christians alike is to stop and say LOOK WHERE WE ARE!! In the political arena we have two sides and most people cannot even articulate what it means to stand on these positions. What should be discussions about approaches to government and economic stimulus have becoming heated exchanges over gun ownership, abortion and which lives matter. I think what tipped me over the edge was logging on to a Youth Pastor’s Facebook group the day after news broke about former Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr’s dismissal. I am not condoning any of Mr. Falwell’s decisions, but I can say I was absolutely shocked and amazed at the scathing posts I read about Mr. Falwell without anyone offering to extend prayers or grace. My heart broke as I realized countless churches are being led by well-intentioned people that have not grasped the meaning of John 8:1-11. Jesus was sitting down to teach when a woman caught in adultery was dragged in front of him. The Hebrew law said this woman should have been executed by stoning (dropping large stones on a person who was placed in a pit). The teachers of the law asked Jesus what they should do because they were hoping to trap him. Jesus’ response was that the person who was without sin should cast the first stone. Gradually, EVERYONE LEFT!! None of us is without sin. Rather than seeking to angrily defend or chastise Mr. Falwell, President Trump, Governor Wolfe (Pennsylvania state Governor from where I live) or any other public figure for their shortcomings; instead, I stand with them as a person who has also sinned as I daily embrace the grace God has shown me through Jesus Christ’s acts of death and resurrection.
We’re in a position where sane, upstanding citizens find themselves embroiled with anger toward the media, politicians and even the very neighbors we are called to love. “Enough is Enough!” Move toward a better emotional place and radically impact your world culture by taking two bold steps:
Step 1: Daily commit to pray for God to guide leaders in His way.
Whether it's political, church, family, or business (according to Romans 13:1), God allows people to be in leadership for His purposes. We may not agree with these people but we must trust that God in His sovereignty knows what He is doing. It is OK to become angry at leaders with a holy anger like Jesus displayed when people were misusing the temple. This anger can manifest itself through petitions, speeches and demonstrations. However, ask yourself this simple but challenging question, “Am I investing as much energy in prayer for these people as I am complaining about how awful these same people are?”
Step 2: Dedicate yourself to positive speech and living.
Ephesians 4:29 clearly states we are to speak to build other people up. Many media channels have trained us, like Pavlovian dogs, to hear something negative, complain about what we have heard, and then desire to feed the negative emotions we experience with even more negative news. We are walking around saying things about people as if they are less than human beings! I am not saying you need to like or agree with all of our leaders, but for the sake of the Gospel and our true purpose to be Kingdom-minded, we need to not make comments that tear others down. Along with ceasing to make negative comments; go out of your way to say positive things about leaders whenever you hear others being negative. This step will radically change how you live and how you feel!
The world is hanging in the balance and so are many of its countries. It is time for you to say, “Enough is Enough!” It is time for the negativity to cease. Today is when honoring God can become more important than throwing verbal stones at leaders and neighbors. Today you can choose to honor the high calling you embraced when you chose to follow the Lord Jesus Christ. Today, let developing morality in young people for Christ and the Church begin with you and your example. It’s time to say, “Enough is Enough!”