With the contentious political environment, compression of events and the overwhelming amount of data we are all juggle, gaining perspective is an important virtue. I offer the following as reflections that I hope will refresh and renew, stimulate sound thinking and compel kind action. Enjoy – and pass on!
Dear political opponents: state objections to candidates and policies based on principles, not memes and reactionary obstruction.
Dear thoughtful conservatives and progressives: stop labeling and shutting down arguments and seek principled compromise and proximate justice. Let’s all grow up.
There is a “more excellent way” than our current anger: it is agape love that is holy and humble, selfless and serving, uniting deep compassion with durable convictions.
A guiding question for each day: How have I added value to someone’s life?
Labeling keeps us from listening. We can learn even from “opponents.” Look past age, class, color, ideology and listen to the ideas, facts and logic. You may also make a new friend in the process.
“Searching for a heart of gold.” Neil Young describes our longing for integrity – especially in politics, Left or Right. The search begins in my own soul: “Create in me a clean heart, O God…”
Our deep divisions come from an impoverished anthropology.
We must reaffirm that all persons we encounter are made in God’s image with vocations of worship and work, play and rest, mutual self-donation and personal flourishing.
Our new anthropology must embrace created dignity, sin-infected depravity, gracious new creation in Christ and the restoration of all creation, as we enjoy God’s eternal reign.
Class and culture, gender and race are transformed with this new vision.
Transforming our society begins with love and truth.
Love: I desire and act for the good of others.
Truth: I assume responsibility for my decisions while recognizing larger influences I may not always control.
As we pray and work for justice, Pastor Chris Brooks’ words resound:
”We must confront individual iniquity and institutional injustice.”
”Poverty is not permanent.”
Poverty, racism, sexism, classism: all can be overcome with unselfish actions rooted in love and truth.
A free society is a virtuous society.
A virtuous society is built on timeless truth.
And it all begins and ends with self-donating love.
And that love is Triune.
In this installment, we challenge a generation pampered by false expectations as well as leaders promising what they cannot deliver and pay for. Enjoy, reflect and share as we try to rebuild a free and virtuous society.
Dear American millennial graduates of public (and some private) universities,
Are you going to dream and discipline or covet and agitate for redistribution?
While you process the timeworn clichés of your tenured professors (who are living off the taxes and donations of the productive)…
“How can I create value and bring good to the world?”
You will never be completely unemployed if you ask this question.
Whether you have your dream job, volunteer or labor away at “mundane” tasks, you can help build a better world if you do your present work well.
Let’s keep working for true justice – equal access, ethical oversight, intolerance of corruption and pathways for all to prosper – and move toward our destiny with discipline.
When we graduate from feeling the world “owes” us and we choose to make the world better with our work…justice and success are not far behind.
Dear candidates, pollsters, pundits, spin doctors and sociological observers:
I am more than a demographic or a gender.
I am more than an ethnicity or national origin.
I am more than today’s identity fashions or an economic status.
I am more than my educational achievements or struggles.
I am a human being made in the image of God and called to worship and work.
I have eternal, inherent value from conception to coronation and I am the object of Christ’s affection as he endured the Cross.
THEN, I am a man or woman, single or married, dark or fair, poorer or richer.
To all in power or aspiring for authority: please remember, “the greatest among you is the servant of all.”
Yes, confidence, inspiration and oratory are part of leading – but they are the fruit of humility, moral courage and thoughtfulness.
When a leader respects the humblest follower, she or he is a gift to the community and nation.
Humility and power are rare bedfellows, but enduring moral and spiritual influence arises from blessing, not bluster, from compassion, not clichés. May God grant an awakening of hopeful realism.