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About four years ago I was home alone on a Sunday morning and typed my thoughts out in a word processor document, then filed that document away. This is something I do occasionally but rarely share because usually these are like journal entries, a stream of consciousness coalescing as my fingers tap on a keyboard of iPad screen, and not necessarily a public consumption thing.
This morning while debugging where the heck my Dropbox folder went (a reboot brought it back from the nether regions of computer mysteryville) I ran across this document and read through it. It is just as relevant today as it was in 2016.
Last Sunday morning we slept late at the Beaux Rivage in Biloxi, and upon waking opened the curtains of our 21st floor corner room overlooking the gulf coast to enjoy the scenery as we sipped coffee. Today we are back in the real world, I have the sinus headache that ate New York, and Jane is off to pick up her tutoring students and on to the early service at church.
As I scan Facebook this morning I see the usual assortment of posts, “I love my spouse” photos, various encouragements, funny memes, and the news. Among them are a few political observations (imagine that) from both sides of the current election process. Friends venting their frustrations and trying to convince others of their viewpoints. Like I said, the usual assortment.
I really need to find a good source for the Sunday comics.
One thing I notice about the political comments is that they are all “anti-candidate” comments rather than comments pointing out the virtues and qualifications of a chosen candidate. I don’t see pro-Hillary posts or pro-Trump posts, only posts defending the person’s choice of a lesser of two bad options because of how much worse the other option is. Where I find the microscopic number of “pro” sentiments is in the comments below the posts, and those are usually of the emotionally charged “OH YEAH?!?!” variety, not substantive rebuttals.
Digging a bit deeper I see that anti-Hillary comments, for the most part, tend to be based on things which have come to light as the result of federal investigations and published reports on her behavior and actions which have been substantiated, and the anti-Trump comments tend to be based on the published opinions of people who lean left politically or have a profession in a field which is primarily populated by people who lean left politically but have little or no fact-based foundation or verifiable eyewitness substantiation for their opinions – and most have been debunked by people who were on the scene when Trump allegedly said or did something being published as offensive. (Again and again I see the words “racist” and “homophobe” used in describing Trump, but have never seen any substantiation of either – and I’ve asked for that substantiation more than once.) I’ve seen someone defend Hillary because she hasn’t been indicted – which boggles the mind because if any person who wasn’t politically tied to her had done the same things she has done they would already be serving a prison term and there are those who have, so there is clear political corruption at play keeping her out of prison. I’ve seen the opinions of entertainers lauded as important and worthy of respect, with no regard to the fact that these same entertainers are stating opinion, not fact, and use the opinions of others as their foundation, not fact, and these entertainers are vocal leftists who praised a socialist candidate. (“What’s wrong with that? They can support a socialist if they want to, it’s a free country. and besides, Bernie is a ‘Democratic Socialist’ and that’s very different.” Tell that to the people of Venezuela whose grocery stores are empty and whose ‘Democratic Socialist’ leaders just spent $60,000 on a birthday cake.) I’ve seen Trump diagnosed by a psychologist who has never been in his presence as “obviously insane” – without ever being within a hundred feet of him, let alone personally interviewing him.
That should trouble you. It troubles me.
One friend posted about the current world situation, and stated that the world needs more love. I couldn’t agree more, actually. The world does need more love. But the world doesn’t understand what love really is, so what they’re craving is emotionally based rather than the reality of love.
A parent who has raised children through their teen years understands love. Love commits to a course, stands firm, refuses to budge on important things and gives grace on not-so-important things, delivers and expects the best from others, and defends the weak. Love sometimes requires fighting to protect others. Love recognizes the self-centered rebellion of a child and stands firm in the face of their tantrums to protect the child from the consequences of having what they want. Love is not a warm fuzzy emotional blanket. Love requires strength and dedication, and that dedication is for life.
“That’s ridiculous. Love never involves fighting or any kind of violence.” Really? I don’t want to be your spouse or child, because you won’t be there for me when I need you, and you won’t correct my course when I’m running toward destruction because I think it’s “cool”.
Our world does indeed need love. Real love.
That is why God did what He did to demonstrate His love for all of us. He walked among us, taught us, and showed us how love really works (and that includes when He described religious leaders as whitewashed tombs filled with dead men’s bones and when He made a whip and cleared sellers from a temple).
Jesus demonstrated real love for all mankind. He is the only solution for a world spinning out of control.
Not religion. Not Christians, who are flawed people trying to get a grip on the life Jesus demonstrated. Not whacky churches picketing funerals. Not those who follow Jesus.
He never said, “Follow my followers.” He said, “Follow me.”
If we follow Him and learn His ways we begin to see life as it should be lived, and we begin to understand what is important and what is not. Today it is important to ignore the noise surrounding us and focus on finding truth. Otherwise we will be deceived by those who use our personal desires to draw us away from truth.
Politicians are experts at telling people what they want to hear, not what they need to hear. They employ teams of people who carefully craft their every spoken word for this purpose. They will even tell us that Jesus would approve of their plans for our nation. That is why we must learn to ignore their “noise”, and the noise produced by those who have embraced it, and focus on truth.
This morning let’s tune out the political noise and focus on the truth Jesus showed the world, and follow His example so others will know real love as they see it in action.