Wow. Once again, it’s been quite a while since I’ve really taken to the blog to write.
It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that during this long period of no writing, we all have collectively seen a lot of things transpire in the course of our everyday lives. And, whether you like it or not, there’s no escaping them. We in the United States are living in one of the most politically charged…um, eventful times in recent history.
And that’s not wholly a bad thing, in my opinion. I myself am seeing a lot of good come out of these trials, even though—just like many of you—I grow weary, tired, and often times frustrated by it all. It’s a trying time for many people, and I would remind my fellow Americans that it’s not just Americans going through a less-than-stellar time. But we’re seeing progress; slow—sometimes really slow—steps towards good. I’m seeing people grow more aware of things, whether it be spiritual or societal. I’m seeing people come to Christ for the first time—which is even more of a testament to how powerful God is especially during all of this craziness.
Still, I see a lot of others struggling, especially with faith-related issues in light of recent events. And that’s why I felt called to write this.
Look, I love this country. I’m thankful to be here, and I’ve written that and expressed that on this blog. But the United States does have its’ faults, just as any other country in the world. And one thing that has been brought to light, at least in my eyes, is the unfortunate propensity for many of my fellow countrymen to say the following:
“This country is the most important thing!”
“How dare you disrespect America! You don’t deserve [insert thing or living here]! Go to hell!”
And most recently, something to this effect:
“You’re disrespecting our flag and our country by doing that!! Know your place and show respect!”
It’s disheartening to me, seeing things like this. It’s as if people refuse to listen, refuse to humble themselves, and immediately become offended personally. They get really fired up, and not because someone attacked them or attacked God, but because someone simply voiced an opinion over society during a song with a flag. Isn’t that a bit absurd? Especially if you label yourself a believer in Christ?
I’ll be frank. One verse, one extremely simple verse, comes to mind when I see all this uproar:
“You shall serve no other gods before me.” –Exodus 20:3 (NIV)
It’s no surprise that many of us love this country. It’s a great place to live! And I’m not telling you to not be appreciative of the United States, or love the country. God’s put you and me here for a reason, and that is a blessing!
But we must not forget that we are held to higher standards as men and women of Christ to conduct ourselves in a way that involves listening and loving first, and most importantly, putting God and Jesus Christ’s ways above everything.
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” –Matthew 6:33 (NIV)
Even prior to that, to lay down context, He is encouraging us to not worry about worldly things and materialistic goods. He even throws down the famous, “You cannot serve to masters” verse! He tells us not, “God first, then the flag, then America, then my job,” but rather, “God only. That’s it. Don’t worry about the rest, I got you.”
God and His ways—all a part of gaining wisdom from the Bible, which is how we truly get to know Him—are the priority. Not a priority.
I’ll leave you all with two verses that spur me to try to be a better man in Christ every day, and I keep them close to my heart dealing with every situation and every person that comes along my own path:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” -1 Corinthians 13:4 (NIV)
“We love because he first loved us.” -1 John 4:19 (NIV)
Written by: Michael “Bboy Roach1” Roach