Talking Politics

I wrote this four years ago and it is a great reminder for me today.

I’m going to talk about something I normally don’t talk about today. Today I am going to talk politics.

I can see by the posts from a lot of my friends that this whole political climate has got you bugged. It has got you frustrated and confounded, confused and drowning in a sea of futility. The government is wallowing in the stagnant cesspool of politics and nothing happens for long periods of time and when something does happen it seems completely irresponsible and impractical and then it is bogged down in the blame game. With all the finger pointing that is going on someone is going to get an eye poked out! I am baffled by the fact that everyone running this country is so sure that they are absolutely right about everything and I have yet to meet a man that has that kind of knowledge and wisdom walking on this earth. The very nature of our political structure here in this country polarizes and divides people. It seems each side blames the other for every wrong here in the good ole U. S. of A. We are encouraged to not seek what is really best for everyone but to swing far to an extreme and support things we don’t really think are great so that we can get what we want.

I went through a period of my life where this all disturbed me greatly. I felt such disdain for people of differing political views that it bordered on hatred, oh honestly, sometimes it went beyond the border and I just plain hated them. I hated them for who they were, what they said and how they said it. I hated what they did. I could find a reason to criticize them even if they were doing great acts of kindness. In fact, I was so busy hating them for being worse than me that I couldn’t even see that some of them were doing more good than I could ever do. I hated presidents, I hated congressmen, I hated mayors and I hated aldermen. I spent a good portion of every day telling people why I hated all these fine politicians. When someone disagreed with my views, I started to hate them.

I have since found out the hard way that I cannot participate in this divisive, contempt producing exercise known as politics. I can vote. I can contact my congressman or sign a petition. That’s about it as far as me personally changing the world politically. I am at the mercy of our government 99% of the time regarding about almost anything.

Psalm 22:28 For royal power belongs to the Lord. He rules all the nations.

OK, so I am not actually at the mercy of the government. Without even knowing it they give their authority over to God. God rules our nations. It is not because of the goodness of mankind that some idiot hasn’t launched a nuclear warhead smack in the middle of our country. It is because of God’s grace. While our governments try to decimate and destroy themselves from within, God, in his mercy keeps things from completely going off the rails in spite of our leaders. He does the same in our lives. We make attempt after attempt to bring utter destruction to ourselves but he sustains us somehow until we can give ourselves completely over to him and live in victory. Part of this victory we can choose is to live in joy and peace no matter how stupid our politicians act.

1 Timothy 2:1 I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.2 Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. 3.This is good and pleases God our Savior.

Here is one verse that has hit me square in the face lately. God has shown me that I mus pray for these people that get under my skin. These people I used to hate are due my prayers. If I want a peaceful, quiet life I have to pray for them. God will give me godliness and dignity. That sort of naturally happens when all the venomous hate spewing from my lips turns into prayer. Sometimes the answers are so simple.

Romans 12:14 Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them.

This one is a tough one. When I get to the place that this is easy and second nature to me, then I will know that God has been perfecting my faith. Right now I kind of have to make myself do it like I have to make the dog leave the dinner table when I am trying to eat.

There is a lot of cursing going on here on Facebook, at work, around town and pretty much everywhere and it is sure hard not to jump in and show everyone else how great I am at cursing. But I need to bow out of these things and do some blessing.

All of this fussing and fighting going on in our country is stressful and disturbing but just remember that in countries where this isn’t going on, it isn’t allowed and they live a lot worse than we do. So having the right to squabble and argue over every single thing that gets done is kind of a blessing. We still have the freedom to refuse to cooperate.

Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

–Reinhold Niebuhr