Three words sorely missing from our culture and lives today. As a matter of fact, over the years, confidence and trust in things of the world has been replaced (by me anyway) from gratuitous and often mindless “agreement” to loud chuckling, guffawing and outright laughter. My parent’s generation was conditioned to follow to the letter and believe anything said by anyone in the public eye. This included not only those people in charge, but also anything anyone said on TV or in the news. Today however, I believe it’s a much different story. We’ve been lied to so many times, in so many different ways, that anything anyone says is looked upon with a jaundiced eye and a raised eyebrow.
I’m a bit of a news junkie, but nowadays with almost every word or written story, I shake my head and wonder in disbelief, “What in the world are they thinking?” From the self-serving antics of the political arena (on both sides of the aisle), political correctness (whatever that is), global saber rattling and religious power wrangling to the hilarious buffoonery of Hollywood, all I can do is laugh. The world stage is a comedy of errors, (some would say a comedy of terrors). But, if anything, it makes for wonderful entertainment. I often ponder what the person next door is thinking. Do they see the same things I do, or are they in staunch agreement with things as they are being reported in the world? I often wonder if others see the craziness as much as I do.
I know my reactions to the above may sound a little disparaging and maybe even a bit condescending, but I really don’t mean it to. I just can’t help but realize that what is happening in and around the world has been scripturally prophesied for centuries. We just happen to be a part of the audience in all its spectacular foolishness. Want to know something though…it’s all part of a grand and wonderful plan.
The one thing that I am fiercely certain of is that I know and have known for many years that my confidence and trust comes not from man, but from God. Anyone who walks with the Lord knows this. But, I have to admit…I sometimes like watching the show from the world’s perspective as it is stuff that can’t be made up. It’s great fodder for amusement. Maybe I’m wrong for my thoughts about it, but just when I think the head-scratching outrageousness of one story can’t be topped, I’m profoundly mistaken ‘cause there’s another right behind it. The list of examples is mindboggling and I’m not even going to attempt it here. Just turn on the TV, pick up a newspaper or surf the internet…and you’ll be able to watch the fun from a front row seat and keep yourself entertained for hours.
OK…I’m done poking fun at the world. My apologies if I’ve offended anyone who may not see things as I’ve described them. It’s obviously not all like this, because there are some wonderful things going on in the world. But, the majority of it can’t be denied. The sad truth about it is that man (humans) will always let us down. They will disappoint us, steer us wrong and deceive and mislead us. As Christians however, we still have to love them. We don’t have to trust, believe or “buy in” to them, but we’re called to love them. It’s putting the heart of the Father on display in our lives every day so others see it. And, it’s what separates us from those who don’t believe. This has nothing to do with going to church or loving those people in our lives who are easy to love. It’s about loving those who are difficult and challenging to love. Those who cause the hairs on our necks to bristle every time we see them or hear them speak. Do you know a few folks like these in your life?
The grand and wonderful plan I spoke of earlier is God’s plan. I’ve explained in other blog essays that God isn’t surprised by anything. He knows exactly what is happening, how it is happening and why it is happening. So, I try not to be annoyed or get upset about what is happening all around us. I just try and let God be God and continue to love on people as much as I can. The word “love” and variations of it can be found between 500-600 times in the Bible, dependent upon the version. Plus, there are over 35 scriptures relating to loving our neighbors (people/humans) and the word “trust” is used over 100 times. So, my humble assumption is that these are key commitments in our walk with Him…wouldn’t you agree?
Jesus was asked by a religious leader of the day which of all the commandments was the most important. His reply can be found in the book of Mark, chapter 12, verses 29-31 (NIV); “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this:…Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’. There is no commandment greater than these”.
Loving those who are difficult to love can be hard, and I am a definite work in progress when it comes to this. But, it is a foundational tenet of having a relationship with God and this is where unwavering confidence, trust and love can be found…in Him. He is the only one who will not let us down. So, when things of the world seem chaotic and confusing, know that you have absolutely no control over it. Just put the heart of the Father on display and love on those around you…every day.
And, maybe…just maybe, by doing so, you’ll make a vast and enormous difference in the life of someone whose existence is mired in the world’s madness.