SOMETIMES WE’RE PROUD of our country: of our leaders, our citizens, and the choices we make.
But sometimes we’re so ashamed that we delay taking trips abroad.
And when we write to our friends in other countries, we apologize for what’s going on here, and we try to assure them that what they are seeing is the worst of us at work.
If opinion polls are right, well over half of our country is ashamed at the moment.
As for the other folks, those who are proud of what’s going on, the majority—whether right or wrong—might judge them as idiots, or ignorant, or brainwashed by bad sources, or narrow-minded and single-issue souls. Or sociopaths.
And in most cases, as relatives.
In which case, don’t call them any of those. “Misinformed” is bad enough.
Simply by reporting that list of possible reactions, I’ve probably made some folks angry. To which the majority might say, “Truth hurts.”
Angry Christians ahead
Angry Christians are pumping up their blood pressure on both sides of the drama that’s going on in this country and in many other countries, as well.
I’m a former newspaper reporter, so I’ll confess I’m one of those folks upset by what’s going on here and abroad. That’s partly because I begin and end each day by reading my news apps: Associated Press, Reuters, BBC, Kansas City Star, New York Times. (The rest of the workday, I’m in the Bible. It helps.)
If you miss a day reading the news, you could miss what feels like the equivalent of a year in any other political storyline.
There’s the speed of light, and not far behind, there’s the speed of crazy.
Bible advice for angry Christians
I’m looking for advice for myself. I thought I’d let you in on what I found.
Pick a side, carefully
“The Lord doesn’t like those who defend the guilty or condemn the innocent” (Proverbs 17:15 CEV).
Don’t be surprised by injustice
“In some places you will see poor people mistreated. Don’t be surprised when they are not treated fairly or given their rights. One officer is cheated by a higher officer who in turn is cheated by even higher officers. The wealth of the country is divided up among them all. Even the king makes sure he gets his share of the profits” (Ecclesiastes 5:8-9 NCV).
Defend the helpless
“Do what is just and right; rescue the oppressed from the power of the oppressor. Don’t exploit or mistreat the refugee, the orphan, and the widow” (Jeremiah 22:3 CEB).
When it goes from bad to worse, count on God
“Even though the fig trees are all destroyed, and there is neither blossom left nor fruit; though the olive crops all fail, and the fields lie barren; even if the flocks die in the fields and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will be happy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength; he will give me the speed of a deer and bring me safely over the mountains” (Habakkuk 3:17-19 TLB).
Peace is out there somewhere. That’s why the Prince of Peace came.
We can find it if we look.
Call me an optimist, but I genuinely believe that.