One Nation, Under God*


I wish I could say that I was surprised by the current political climate. I’m not. I’m also not overly concerned about it. I mean, at least not in an anxiety-riddenthe-world-is-doomed-if-“x”-becomes-President-kind-of-way. I’m not because I’m conscious of two things: nothing happens apart from God’s knowing and, in fact (and this thought regularly baffles me), as part of His Master Plan for creation, the world and you & me. The second thing is this: in the last days people will become lovers of themselves.

Let’s look at these two things…

God knows everything. The heart of a man. When the sparrow falls. Every hair on your head. He is the Master Architect for life as we know it – and He designed it perfectly because, well, He’s perfectly perfect. He can’t be anything else.

We, however, are woefully flawed. Somehow (and this is also one of those things that is too lofty for me to even begin to try to wrap my tiny brain around), He had to have known even in our creation that this was true and that we had a 50/50 chance to move toward being more “Him-centered” or more “us-centered.” You know the end of that story… We chose “us” and, with the HUGE exception of Jesus and His undeserved mercy and grace (not at all to be taken lightly), humanity as we know it has been moving in a downward spiral since.

Which brings me to my second point…

The Bible says “in the last days people will become lovers of themselves…” then goes on to list a smorgasbord of self-indulgent behaviors and characteristics (2 Timothy 3:2-5). In my short 43 years on planet earth I feel like I have seen this bear out and increase exponentially in recent decades. Things that were considered scandalous 25 years ago are now not only common place but pretty ho-hum by current day standards. The shock factor bar for entertainment and media is raised regularly. At the end of the day, a loud voice seems to cry out, “Don’t tell me what to do! I have the “right” to express myself! If it’s good for me, I’m doing it!” This leaves out a huge chunk of  day-to-day common courtesy (is that even a thing anymore?) and, worse, a lack of broader consideration for the fellow humans that we share the planet with.

It’s crazy…and seems hopeless. But God is Sovereign and still works mightily through imperfect and self-centered people. Just ask Cyrus (Isaiah 44:23 – 45:8). Or the Babylonians. (Habakkuk 1: 5-11). Or  Judas (Matthew 26: 14-16).

So, here we are with two political candidates as woefully flawed as we all are. One of them will become our Commander-in-Chief and continue to be flawed – as we all are. Somehow – in ways beyond our understanding – God will accomplish His will through him or her regardless. Because He’s God. He can work through anyone and anything to fulfill His plans.

In the meantime, I’m going to work on the part I have a teeny bit of control over: whether to love me more…or God more. Whether to love me more…or my neighbor more. Whether to love me more…or the generation coming after me more…

This is our 2 Timothy 3:2-5 remedy:

You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:14-17

* While I am aware that the phrase “under God” was added to the Pledge of Allegiance after its original writing, I still think it’s a worthy title. Of course I feel that God ultimately is over our country but I also recently spent some time visiting the monuments in D.C. When you read the statements of many of our founding fathers, it’s difficult to ignore their acknowledgment of a Creator.

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