Thursday, October 3, 2013

Government Shutdown

I’ve decided to write about the government shutdown. *insert snide remarks, eye rolling breathing deeply, etc. here*

I’m not going to try to take on the politics of the shutdown. I’m not going to try to blame anyone. That’s just counter productive and not at all what this blog is about.

There are people on both sides of the fence who are so heated about their position that they cannot be civil to their neighbor who doesn’t agree. Articles are popping up on Facebook left and right about the left and right and who’s to blame and who’s got it all figured out. Ugh.

I don’t want to, in any way, suggest that who you vote for is not important. We live in a country where we have been given the freedom to have a voice in our government. That’s an amazing right. I believe God does care about the poor and underprivileged. But, I also believe that He cares about the lives of the unborn. I believe He cares about the sin, of all types, that has become rampant in our society. I believe that He cares that He is being continually pushed out of society while every other type of belief system is being ushered in and praised. I think it matters to Him that the U.S. government has been given the place of Savior in our lives. He’s not going to share His glory with another. Perhaps those of you who are continually disheartened at the state of our government are putting to much faith in that which cannot save you. 

It is important to vote for what you believe in. But, I really don’t think on that day when we see Him face to face the question will be, “Who did you vote for?”

I think it will be, “What did you do to ease the suffering of another?”

So, my friend, what is it? For me easing the suffering of another happens here, in Mozambique. For you maybe it’s adoption or serving in a soup kitchen. Maybe for you military folk, it’s holding the hand of a wife who’s just heard the news her husband won’t be coming home.  Maybe it’s teaching a child to read or cutting the grass of your neighbor who just lost his job. It looks like a thousand different things to a thousand different people. It’s not what you do, it’s that you do it.

This week, as I was watching the news, the government shutdown was just a small story in the world context. Their were other stories about war, famine, nuclear disasters and a lot of other things. I’m fully aware that there are people suffering in the United States and we are called to be God’s hands and feet to them.  But, people are suffering all over the world. One person’s suffering isn’t greater or less than another’s - no matter the form of suffering being experienced. God doesn’t really care about your nationality or theirs. What he cares about is if we are taking His command seriously to “love our neighbor as we love ourselves.”

Governments will rise and governments will fall. There will always be a new leader, president, senator, etc. to be impressed with. But, please, oh, please, my friend, give government’s it’s place. It can’t save you or anyone else. It can’t even make your life better. Your life is made better by the One who came to give you abundant life (John 10:10). 

By all means, vote. But, be the hands and feet of Jesus in practical, everyday-ways. There is coming a day when this government shutdown won’t matter at all. But, it will matter how you loved.