Anyone that knows me well, knows that I like to live by my conservative principles. Yet, I realize that I must pepper them with a balance of grace and patience. One main directive that keeps me balanced is that of not becoming a stumbling block to anyone in their relationship with God, by letting my actions be disprespectful or ugly in any way. I could easily tell those that are off base that they're especially challenged, but I must refrain from that initial reaction. I only say it on the inside! Just kidding, but God is shaping me into someone with more patience for those that are blinded by thier own rhetoric and/or doctrine. I have to pray for discernment that I have the wisdom and understanding I need from God to discern His word and stand firm on that. Albeit, continuing to represent Him in an honoring way.
In all honesty, I'm directed to be salt and light in this world and stand up for what is right in a way that can be respected. It's often that kind of truth that is not tolerated on all sides. It's not politically correct to speak of truth because it is offensive. Salt is a substance that can be abrasive, yet that is often needed in order for it's cleansing attributes to be fully realized. Light represents exposure and truth, yet those that aren't willing to accept it seem to turn away because to them it becomes a glare; something they aren't willing to look at or even consider. They just don their rose-colored glasses and continue along their misdirected way. Does this frustrate me to no end? You bet! But last time I checked, I wasn't responsible for them. My only responsibility is to show them unconditional love and grace and hope that God's truth will one day penetrate their souls and show them truth in all areas. The only way that can truly happen is if one honestly seeks God's direction and asks for wisdom and discernment in the instructions He gives us. The instructions are meant to bring us good and to keep us from harm and evil. It's unfortunate that we often think we have a better plan and go our own way. It hasn't worked yet. I would venture to say, it never will.
That brings me to the point of my latest frustration. As much as I would love to, I'm not sporting my bumper sticker or displaying my yard sign for my presidential candidate of choice. I understand that it could be a deterrent to how God wants to use our influence to bring people that don't know Him into a relationship with Him. I get that. Yet, I must admit that my flesh rises up when anyone presumes to suggest that I shouldn't do so. I have my own discernment, thank you, and I plan to use it! What really burns me though, is the fact that those in christian ministry are not expected to be leaders in politics. I can't sit on the sidelines for that one! If we can't lead in politics, how can we effectively reach the ends of the earth for God's purposes? It's okay to "lead" everywhere but in politics? I'm sorry, but that doesn't make any sense to me. It's just a cop-out for being politically correct. In the meantime, we're in danger of falling in line with the wrong leaders. I can't believe its God's will for us not to stand up for what is right, so He can be well represented, not only in our personal lives and in our homes, but in the way our country is led. I believe He is calling us to do just the opposite, to lead by example and be proud of it, because it's the right thing to do.
I couldn't believe my ears recently when I heard someone say something to the effect that God doesn't tell us who to vote for; He just lets us make our own decision. WHAT?!!! Carnally, we make our own decisions about anything and everything. Choosing our own way has always been our human problem and it will always be our downfall. However, God does have direction for everything in our lives. It's called the Bible. It's meant to be read and taken seriously. Dare I even suggest that doing so could lead to obedience in ways He wants us to follow? Within the pages of the bible, God gives us good indications of what is right and what is wrong. He gives us His wisdom and knowledge in areas we are willing to submit to Him and in areas where we are willing to follow His lead. Does that sound like He's telling us to make our own decision? I guess, ultimately, He gives us free will to make those decisions, but we are not left without direction as to what He has to say about it. No, He's telling us to follow His instructions. Doing so is rewarding. It could result in a leader being elected that is actually the right man for the job. We don't have to settle for what human choice determines. We can pray that God will lead us in our choice and in His ultimate choice of who should lead our land. It's too important a choice for us to leave to chance or political correctness.
So, I guess I'm just talking about my pink elephant in the church. At least its an elephant!