“I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The LORD gave me what I had, and the LORD has taken it away. Praise the name of the LORD!” Job 1:21 NLT
These words penetrated my heart. Not because they were written by some skillful poet with an imagination able to comprehend great sorrow, but because they were written by a man who had lost EVERYTHING yet still chose to praise God.
And everything today’s society lacks.
How many are bogged down by resentment? They haven’t even lost half as much as Job, yet they blame their parents, they blame their government, they blame God.
What has it gained us?
In America, many believe the lie that victimhood is power.
They wield it over everyone!
So many times I’ve watched people compete for, ‘who has it worse,’ just in hopes to win the verbal pecking order.
I’m not even going to get into the backstabbing.
Even complete strangers are ready to insult their countrymen, biting other souls like vipers wherever they go.
In America, this type of verbal warfare has become a sport.
A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. And I tell you this, you must give account on judgement day for every idle word you speak. The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.” Matthew 12:35-37 NLT
The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21 NIV
If words matter, how much more our actions!
Yet, there’s hardly any compassion, let alone humility. Just haughty looks and cutting words abound!
What gain does such insolence provide?
Well, let’s look around our land to see the bitter fruit this resentment has grown.
When at the gas station, the grocery store, the local eateries, wherever you work, the roads to get to those places, and even your church, are people happy?
Some might be. In my experience, it’s becoming rarer and rarer to see joy on the faces of my fellow Americans.
At least half of the country knows that Christ came for us to have joy and life to the fullest (John 10:10) yet there’s a serious deficit of joy in our nation.
What are we doing wrong?
For the most part, Americans are hell-bent on pride.
Pride in our looks
Pride in our wealth.
Pride in our education.
Pride in our social circles.
Pride in where we live.
Nowadays, pride in our politics has overshadowed everything.
Millions of people walk around with a dozen shades of red in their hearts, hating other members of God’s creation over trivial matters. These colors of hatred are so thick they occasionally seep out in bouts of violence. From coast to coast, we’re seeing more physical attacks on Americans, by Americans, from BOTH political sides.
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18 NIV
We’ve become a nation so prideful, so haughty that we bow at the altar of political ideologies and whatever mascot the party we’ve devoted ourselves puts forth.
From the mouths of most Americans, the name of a politician supersedes the name of God. Even Christians have put man before God, i.e. “In Trump We Trust.”
Then we wonder why our efforts aren’t blessed. When political discrimination comes, many blame God. Bitterness takes root and the cycle repeats.
How many times can this happen before we’re destroyed?
If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. Mark 3:25 NIV
Maybe instead of standing for pride and contempt, we should stand for humility and gratitude.
If we put God first, we’ll be filled with love so powerful it’ll cover a multitude of sins, (1 Peter 4:8) a love so deep it’ll reaches across political aisles, extinguishing disillusionment and even hatred.
When we lay our lives fully at the will of our Creator, the desire to take hold of everything like a spoiled toddler shouting, “Mine!” fades away. We can open our arms out with generosity, compassion, and understanding.
Our words will be empathetic, sweet, and edifying.
Because we’ll know that no matter who we are, or what have, God is in control.
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. Philippians 4:13 KJV
It’s through faith, the very faith being attacked right now, where the strength to say, “I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The LORD gave me what I had, and the LORD has taken it away. Praise the name of the LORD!” (Job 1:21)
It’s through humility and daily praise of our Creator that freedom, joy, and a life to the fullest is achieved.
King David knew this.
George Washington knew this.
It’s time for us to as know this as well.