Do not fret

Do not fret because of those who are evil
    or be envious of those who do wrong;
for like the grass they will soon wither,
    like green plants they will soon die away.
Trust in the Lord and do good;
    dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
    trust in him and he will do this:
he will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
    your vindication like the noonday sun.
Be still before the Lord
    and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
    when they carry out their wicked schemes.
Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
    do not fret – it leads only to evil.
For those who are evil will be destroyed,
    but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.

Psalm 37 v 1-9

I’d like to make a brief foray into politics in this post, although this is intended to have a wider application.

I have followed the US election with some interest over the last few weeks. Or maybe better said that it has followed me, it’s been hard to avoid! Through all the twists and turns, I have become increasingly concerned at some of the things I have read from a Christian perspective. Some of the comments and articles seem unbalanced, one in particular that sticks in my mind portrayed the US President in almost messianic terms.

I realise this election was important, the President is a powerful figure who has the ability to do significant good, or significant evil. Or, even both. But, in the never-ending news cycle, don’t forget that however powerful he is, he can’t hold a candle to Jesus.

The media might like you to think that politics is the apex of significance. They are blind. Don’t become like them.

For Christians, there is a huge danger in tribalism, where moral and ethical positions become dictated by tribal affiliations, rather than by the gospel. Divisions grow, and there are precious few willing to remember that in Christ, there is no Jew, no Greek, no Democrat, no Republican, no Conservative, no Liberal. I could go on, hopefully you get the idea.

To avoid misunderstanding, I am not saying that moral / ethical matters should take a backseat to some kind of group ‘kumbaya’. These things matter, in the midst of an ongoing war between the culture of death and the culture of life.

Let me put it this way. I recall many years ago reading CS Lewis, who made an argument which I shall paraphrase, possibly badly. He said that we can sometimes adopt a worldview based on “Jesus and <insert issue here>”. The ‘issue’ is typically something that is really important to us. So, maybe something like Jesus and Abortion, or Jesus and Brexit, or Jesus and the US Election. You get the idea. The point being that we may start with Jesus as our focus, or at least we think we do, but over time it is the issue which becomes the centre, with Jesus taking on the supporting role. Not consciously, of course, but over time, we can find that is the issue we believe in, and Jesus is there to lend us credence.

You only need say it to see the ridiculousness of that position. But sometimes events so blind us that we cannot see what is actually going on in our own hearts. So, with that in mind, let me bring some truth. Jesus is the Centre of all things. He is the Beginning and the End. Through Him all things were made, and in Him all things hold together. Whatever issue is so occupying you pales into insignificance in the light of His reality. He has overcome the world, and He is making all things new!

Let those truths dwell in your heart today.

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

Colossians 3 v 1-2
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