Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Confessions of a Contrite Constituent

I don't want to talk about politics on this blog, but I would like to talk about what God has been teaching me during this season of politcal upheaval. I have been surprised by my own attitudes and responses to the people & issues. I have this terrible tendency to think I'm always right (ouch). This past week has been very humbling as, thankfully, the Lord has been faithful to convict me. I have a few things to confess:

1) I have not been blameless in what I've said.
James wrote, "If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check." (James 3:2b) I don't think any politician in this country could claim to 'never be at fault' in what they say. However, neither can the rest of us say that about ourselves (any of you perfect people out there can feel free to contradict me). =) James also said "We all stumble in many ways." (3:2a) Lest I think I'm better than those who are often at fault in what they say...I too cannot control my tongue perfectly. In fact, I can't control it all - apart from the power of the Holy Spirit working in me. This applies to every day and every situation, not just when talking about politics. Somehow it seems more important in that arena, but in reality I should be a person of pure speech at all times.
Lord, may I continually rely on you to set a door over my mouth and to give me compassion and grace for those who are also at fault in what they say.

2) I have not sought truth as I should.
With the media, the adds, the contradictions in statements, etc. it has been very hard to find the truth about politicians and issues. I confess, I got tired of it. I only wanted enough truth to make a decision and be done with it. I didn't want to keep seeking and digging until I knew all the facts about every person & issue. "Proverbs 2:3-5 says, "and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God." Seeking truth and understanding takes effort and hard work, but it is worth more than earthly treasure.
How easy it is to be content with only a small measure of truth. I may think that's enough, that's all I need, when in reality I may be missing vital information, opening myself up to being easily deceived. Jesus said, "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (John 8:32) Without truth I am walking in darkness. Without a growing pursuit and understanding of truth, I might be easily led astray in many wrong directions.
Seeking truth about politics is important, seeking truth about life and godliness is even more important.
Lord, give me a heart that is passionate for Truth in every context, keep me from being content and complacent with the measure of truth I have, and strengthen me to continually pursue to know and live by the truth, your Truth.

3) I have at times not acted lovingly toward my "enemies" or my fellow believers.
Jesus said, "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you." (Luke 6:27) I admit I have a hard time loving people who support actions and policies that I know gireve the heart of God. But how can I deny Jesus' words? He loved me when I was His enemy. Now it's my turn to love those enemies, perhaps by praying for them and not having anger or hatred in my heart toward them. Only a perfect God can love like that and give me His love for them.
I think even worse than not loving my enemies has been my lack of loving words to other believers who have different opinions than me. Oh how sad and humbled I have been to see my selfish & fleshly response at times. Praise God for His forgiveness and His grace in others to forgive me.
I believe it is important to stand up for the truth, but it is equally important to walk in love. Paul addressed this issue in Ephesians. "Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Him who is the Head, that is Christ." (Eph. 4:14-15)
This world is in depserate need of truth, but truth without love will have little or no effect.
Lord, teach me to love as You love, both my enemies and my brothers & sisters in Christ. Shine through me that others might see your love in me and be hungry to hear the truth you want me to share.

I don't like talking about politics, never have, probably never will. What is it about politics that can bring out so much ugliness in me? I'm not sure. But I believe that even politics falls under God's promise - "in all things God works for the good of those who love Him..." (Rom. 8:28) He can use it to remind me that I am just a sinner, saved by grace; that apart from God's grace and the power of Christ's life in me, I can do nothing good; and that politicians, no matter how good or bad, cannot save or destroy my soul. Jesus alone is able to save and transform me so that a watching world might see His love and grace displayed.

Thus ends my confessions.
Praise God for His greatness!


Mrs said...

Definitely hate the political season. However, it does give me magnificent opportunity to trust God completely. "He removes kings and establishes kings, it is He who directs the times and the edicts."

Kiley said...

This post touched my heart - especially number 3. I find myself thinking that i am right and that everyone should see that - when in all truth God is the only right and we should all see His truth...

Your very sweet and i am glad to call you my friend :D