“Making America Great Again”: Loving Your Neighbor as Yourself
*I do not own the rights to this photo.
Hello everyone! Today's treatise may be a hard, convicting read for some of you. I was deeply compelled after prayer and thought to write such a blog today. We truly stand at a crossroads as a nation. The decisions we make from November on will determine who we are as a people and a country. They will shape us for the next 20 or more years, for good or for evil. Please hear my heart and most importantly, the Father's heart for us all in this time. Let's begin.
I see much from current and former politicians and their various political ideologies about how to “make America great again” - closing the border, leaving the border open, building a wall, not building a wall, stopping big government, increasing government, holding government accountable, lowering taxes or raising taxes, codifying abortion, not codifying abortion, a Constitutional Convention, no Constitutional convention, term limits, impeachment, investigation, etc. The list grows by the day. It's enough to wear you out! Some tactics to “make America great again” like name calling, political tit-for-tat, whining, playing victim, and turn-about on longstanding tenants or policies from Republicans and Democrats alike do little to “make America great again” – instead they make America the laughing stock of the world, an embarrassment, a show. Our politicians even make themselves laughing stocks, embarrassments, and shows. Add the very real threat of violence to the mix of ideology, confusion and in some cases, delusion, and you have a recipe for a political disaster not seen before in these United States. A sobering, present reality isn't it? However, such things should not come as a surprise, nor should we believe they have to be our future reality – note I made a distinction between the present and the future.
For all of their midterm political grandstanding and bombastic accusations they levee against one another about who loves America and her people more, they have forgotten one simple thing that would “make America great again” on so many levels including their own – loving their neighbors as themselves (Matthew 22:31). Seems a bit too simple doesn't it? Yet, that's the beauty of Jesus' teachings – simple wisdom that confounds the supposedly wise (1 Corinthians 1:27). Loving our neighbors as ourselves is not just something our politicians could benefit from, it is something our entire nation could not only benefit from but desperately needs all across our communities. Confronting age-old, festering, societal sins on top of added outside factors (e.g. COVID pandemic, economics, wars, etc.,) has not only been uncomfortable but very confusing, exhausting, and embittering for many Americans. Confusion, exhaustion, bitterness, and added delusion in some groups have made the love of many grow cold in this nation. However friends, we must not lose hope! Love can be kindled again! We can restore our nation's heart again to freedom!
How do we get back to love? How do we set our nation free from its past sins?
First, we must take responsibility and individually and collectively repent of any hatred in our hearts for our fellow Americans and our neighbors – foreign born or otherwise. I know I've had some repenting to do and I'm not the only one. We can't wait for Washington DC to repent. We have to begin repentance in our own homes and communities and it is from there that influence will spread to DC. Love and freedom don't start in Washington DC, it starts with us individually. Washington DC won't set our nation free, we will when we choose love in our homes and communities – when we choose the simple teachings of Jesus that confound the wise. We choose repentance, love, and freedom when we as The People demonstrate to our politicians what we will and will not tolerate from them. They don't set the tone for the nation, we do. They are there to serve our nation, not dictate their own wills. We do this with our letters, phone calls, voices and ultimately, our votes. Remember, we get to choose who we put in DC, in our state houses, governors' mansions, etc. and who we send home. We the People can form a more perfect union. We choose love when we understand that our words matter to others and we expect, without exception, our politicians and their corresponding political parties to understand the same.
Please don't read what I didn't write or misunderstand my heart. I am not anti-Washington DC nor anti-government. I am also not advocating (and completely rebuke) the bullying of politicians by constituents or other politicians. We need our politicians to lead and to lead well. In order for them to do that, many of them will have to repent because they are not leading well and they certainly aren't loving well. You can't lead well if you don't love well – they are not mutually exclusive.
We guard our hearts when we choose to love and respect our fellow Americans. Our nation is well-guarded when our politicians choose to work together and find common ground out of a foundation of love and respect for one another. I speak to both the president and members of Congress when I say this to you. There is room for love and respect in politics and this must be pursued now more than ever. Abandon who and what you must abandon in order to pursue these higher callings. Believe it or not, I am praying for you and believing you can do what is right, even if it is hard.
I am also praying for our nation and my fellow Americans. It's been a long, hard road these last several years but we will make it through to the Light. I choose to love my neighbor. I choose to respect my neighbor. I choose to have peace with my neighbor. I choose simple wisdom to confound the wise. America, what do you choose?
I will leave you with an excerpt of the poem and song, *America the Beautiful by Katherine Lee Bates. I encourage you to look up this poem and read it in its entirety:
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!
God shed His grace on thee,
Till selfish gain no longer strain
The banner of the free!
With much love,