The following column is an opinion piece and reflects the views of only the author and not those of The Georgia Virtue.
By: Dr. William F. Holland Jr., minister, chaplain, and author of the column series ‘Living on Purpose’. You can read more about the Christian life and see other works by Dr. Holland at billyhollandministries.com
The older we are, the more we can see how the world has changed. The Bible reveals the human race is born with a corrupt nature and also has a lot to say about an evil spiritual enemy that is trying as hard as he can to influence us over to the dark-side. Whatever your political or theological views, we can agree there is much strife within our nation about what is happening and where we are headed. The interesting aspect within many people’s disagreements is how they base their opinions on what someone else has told them. Since God knows everything, the best answers to all of our problems would be to listen to him, but rarely is this mentioned.
In the midst of our worries and concerns for this country and our family’s future, God is moving and miracles are being seen all around us. Like you, I read the editorial sections and listen to what others have to say, and mostly what I gather is someone repeating over and over how bad everything is. Do we really need to be bombarded with negativity about how the world is falling apart at the seams? It would be refreshing to hear that all is not lost and we can be as bright of a light for Jesus as we choose. Perspective is a key word to consider because it allows us to discern and think carefully about what has been said. When someone relays a story, we should remember they are relaying a view of what they personally believe. For example, when we hear that no one can be trusted in our government and how society is evolving into a mass of mindless zombies, we should realize this is a “glass half empty” view. In reality, there are many kindhearted and loving individuals that are demonstrating what Christ died for them to be. This is not the hour to give up and hang our harps on the willow trees.
Each day we maneuver our way through the daily grind while trying to maintain our sanity at the same time. However, let us be reminded that if we are going to allow ourselves to be an information sponge, we should be careful how we interpret what we absorb. I’m not saying the culture does not have serious problems, but we should also not burn down the forest as a way to get rid of the poison ivy. Everyone is not evil and corrupt and neither is every member of the next generation brainwashed with humanism. No matter what is deemed politically correct, as Christians we still have a spiritual mission to accomplish as our hands fit the hammer and shovel today just as they always did. There is a huge difference between spectators that do a lot of talking and participators that spend their time and energy trying to make a positive difference.
Another word is discernment. There are so many different ideas, but we have been commanded to be sensitive enough to know what is right and wrong. Let us stop and consider the danger of being controlled with negativity. God is not confused, deceptive, a manipulator, or a liar and He cannot fail. He is perfect absolute truth, and the closer we are to Him the more we will all walk in one accord. I recently read a story about a nurse who serves in a Veteran Healthcare facility and how passionate she is about helping those who cannot help themselves. What about our first responders who risk their lives everyday trying to save others, or the many soldiers who willingly fight in combat so that we can enjoy our freedoms? Maybe instead of pointing out all the people that do not care, we could start identifying and appreciating those who do. Seeing the glass half-full is the result of embracing, learning, and demonstrating the attitude of an optimist. There have always been corrupt and despicable people but be encouraged, the darkness of sin will never overcome the eternal light of God’s compassion and mercy. Self-discipline is associated with the decision-making process within our mind as changing the way we think, transforms who we are. May we examine our convictions carefully and be willing to accept and follow God’s truth. Hope and joy are never lost for those who know and trust the Lord.