In light of the recent election and extreme divisiveness that it brought to our nation, I found an article that I wrote more than 5 years ago that I am reposting today. The article was originally written for the monthly newsletter of Good Shepherd Christian Academy, but it is the perfect message for Americans now after one of the most polarizing and divisive Presidential elections ever.
The election is now over and regardless of who you voted for, it’s time for us to move forward as a nation UNITED. "United we stand, divided we fall," right? That’s what we always say. Jesus said something similar:
“If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” (Mark 3:24-25)
I believe that our response as a nation going forward will ultimately determine what direction our country goes in. It isn’t the guy in office that is going to either save us or ruin us. It’s our job – we the people of the United States of America – to stand up, join hands and work together to build this nation of ours. That’s the spirit of America and that’s the spirit of Jesus as well.
Take a look at the article below and let me know what you think by leaving a comment. If you’re with me, go ahead and say so and spread the word as well.
I recently had the chance to get away for a much needed week of vacation with my wife and two kids. The week was great, but during that week something happened that put a bit of a damper on things. My son Michael [age 2 ½, aka TERRIFIC TWO’S] decided that he would test the strength of my daughter, Elizabeth [age 7 months]. He did his little experiment by taking both his own hands and using them to squeeze her little hand as hard as he could.
As you can imagine, that little experiment didn’t have the best results. Elizabeth screamed her guts out. My wife tried to console her while I had the fun job of disciplining Michael and trying to explain to him why it is wrong to do this.
The worst part about it was this: HE DIDN’T GET IT! He didn’t understand why this was wrong or why little Elizabeth got all worked up about it. He especially didn’t understand why this upset his parents so much and why we were making such a big deal over it.
As a parent, there are few things that pain us more than to see our children in pain. We have all been there as parents – watching our kids in pain and wishing we could take it away. What makes it worse is when that pain is being caused by another member of the family – like an older sibling. I hate to see my child in pain; but I hate even more to know that one of my other children is causing that pain.
Our Father in heaven is no different. Seeing one of my children hurt the other really made me think about how God feels when we do the same here on earth. Even though we all come from different places and have different faces, we are all one family IN CHRIST and we have a responsibility to one another. And when we hurt one another or fight with one another or cause pain to one another, there is no doubt about it: OUR FATHER IS THE ONE WHO ACTUALLY GETS HURTS THE MOST.
St. Paul said it best in Philippians 2:4: “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
I am sure that nothing would please our Heavenly Father more than for each us to fulfill this verse. The Bible says that it is impossible to say that you love God, who you can’t see, without first loving your brethren, who you can see [see 1 John 4:20]. IMPOSSIBLE! Love for God must translate into love for one another.
Maybe you’re in the middle of a situation right now where you haven’t been as loving as you should be. Maybe you are just walking through life looking out for your OWN interests and no one else’s. Maybe it isn’t natural for you to consider the needs of others more than your own. Whatever it may be. I hope that none of us will behave like my 2 year old son did. Two year olds have an excuse – they aren’t mature enough to consider the needs of others. But as adults, especially Christian adults who have been shown and experienced the love of God, there is no excuse.
Our standard for behavior is clear: “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.” Philippians 2:3.
May God help us all to love one another and truly esteem one another better than ourselves.
For discussion: what would happen in our homes or in our country, if we all started applying Philippians 2:3? What would things look like?