It’s Not About You

There is so much complaining in our society: our government, our media, our schools, the crime rate, the environment. We have no lack of topics to use as a means of attacking each other. We attach ourselves to a particular cause and let that define our expectations and behavior. There is a reality show about Green Peace advocates who give their life and fortune to punishing those who illegally kill whales. A church from Arkansas dedicates itself to attacking homosexuality and America’s war in the Middle East. (Wonder what they think about judgmentalism and self-righteousness?) Opponents of abortion have murdered doctors to make their point. Whenever we focus on a piece of the truth, we lose perspective on the whole truth. We seek personal or political victory, but what we need is God.

Throughout history as cultures have begun to thrive, they begin to turn inward. They believe that what they want is what they deserve. There is no empire that has ever been created that did not fall, no great civilization that did not self-destruct because it lost sight of its dreams and began to compromise to protect its power. America is no different. As we’ve eased God out of our media, schools and culture, we’ve seen the breakdown of the family, increase in violence and crime, deterioration of morality, and loss of basic integrity as a standard for our leaders. We’ve become convinced that we can fix ourselves. We’re told that we don’t need God; we just need more government programs, more self-awareness, and more income redistribution. And when our goal is to force others to adopt our perspective, we come up with all sorts of plans that turn out to be lies. More education has failed to provide society with all it needs to prosper. We can’t prevent our youth from becoming criminals if we just give them enough affirmation, the right education and the best opportunities. Modern psychology and the legal system try to explain man’s sin by blaming circumstances, parents, education, race, poverty, etc., without ever holding the individual accountable for himself. We try to convince ourselves that we are smart enough and powerful enough to make ourselves what we should be….and history has proven over and over again that we can’t. We ignore God’s character and law and don’t understand why we no longer have his blessing. When our focus is on ourselves – our agenda, our preferences, our comfort zone – we lose focus on God. We get it backward, and it will never work that way. It’s not about us; it’s about God.

The world curses those who oppose and disagree with them. The world seeks to impose its will on all and punish those who don’t cooperate. Jesus commanded us not to play by the world’s rules.

Mat 5:43-44 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”

Sometimes love involves giving others the space to fail or discover for themselves. Sometimes it involves taking an unpopular stand or refusing to compromise. But the love God requires from us will never look like hate. It will never seek the destruction of those who irritate us. It will always look more like love than selfishness.

What would happen if you committed to praying for all who disagree with you, rather than complaining about them? How different would our culture be if the Christians actually blessed their enemies and prayed for those who curse them? How different would your heart and your week be if you chose obedience to this one command?