Sunday, June 28, 2015

Let's Start with Me

Wow. 

I don't think I've ever seen or felt this much division and hostility in our country.......at least, in my adult life.  You don't have to be on social media long for your shoulders to tighten and your head to start pounding from all the tension. Confederate flags and rainbows and politicians and issues and problems plaguing our society.  People on every side of every topic imaginable are screaming and arguing and trying to be heard.  Everyone wants to have their say.  Everyone wants to make their point.  Everyone has the answer.   

I don't want to jump into that swirl of noise.  Some of it is good noise, but I don't want to add to all the confusion.  At this point, all the words are competing and colliding and cancelling each other out.  It's hard to hear what anyone is saying anymore.  I can't imagine that I'd have anything profoundly unique to say about anything anyway, so this post isn't about this side or that position.   

When all the news started to break this week.......the controversy surrounding the Supreme Court's rulings, the recent terrorist acts, the growing threats of terrorism, dishonest politicians, brutal crimes against humanity, the overreach of government, the constant fighting in Washington, and on and on and on.....I allowed myself to become saturated with the 24 hour information cycle and I reached my limit.    

I sat on my bed and, as I listened to the noise, discord, debates, and anger, an overwhelming feeling came over me.  Not a desire to yell or give my opinion or cry or protest or write a letter or throw my hands up. 

No, none of that.   

I felt the need to repent.

That's it. 

Period.  

I just felt the need to.......repent. 

I guess no matter what side of the issues or aisle you stand on, it always feels like it's us against "them".  Whoever your "they" is........"they're" the problem....."they're" not enlightened...."they're" our downfall....."they're" the cause of this or that.  But, as I sat there and watched the chaos of multiple news stories, I was reminded that we don't have a "they" problem.  It's a compilation of our "me" problems that has put us in such a state of turmoil and decline.

I have contributed.....not just them and those or her or him or that side over there.  I've had my hand in the way things are going.  I prayed that I would be forgiven for all the ways I've failed.  For the times I've been complacent.  For the days when I didn't make the effort.  For the times I should have done something and I just stood there.  When I was too lazy or caught up in myself to make a commitment.  When I failed to model integrity for people who were watching.  When I showed my kids it was all right to compromise your values in certain situations.  When I've been selfish with my time and my resources.  When I've been unloving or judgmental or self-righteous.  The times I've let opportunities slip by....opportunities that won't come again.  When I've kept quiet and didn't say anything.  When I thought about myself more than others.  When I was ungrateful and I felt entitled.  For the times I've been stubborn and proud and placed more value on the last word than I did on showing God's love.  When I've not taken time to pray or give thanks or ask for guidance.  When I felt I couldn't make a difference and I've looked the other way. The times I thought I'd let someone else worry about that.  When I've been too busy to do the right thing. 

For all the times I didn't represent my Jesus well. 
             
I turned off the news and I asked for forgiveness for those things......for the part that I've played in our world becoming increasingly self-centered and less and less Christ-centered.  For the hand I've had in the apathy, the selfishness, the lack of commitment, the indifference toward one another, and the decline in moral standards.

Sometimes, you just have to start somewhere.

"Me" is as good a place as any. 


Hope your week gets off to a great start!! 





 



      

7 comments:

  1. Well said dear friend....I think we are all guilty of taking sides. If we all spent more time repenting and praying we wouldn't have so much time for all the division in our nation.

    As always, your words come straight from your heart and directly to mine. Thank you Joni!

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  2. Somethere there is a song that talks about the need for change and coming back to God and in it is a line that says . . . "and let it begin with me". This post was a wonderful start to my busy week.

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  3. Amen! I had some thoughts along those lines as well this past week. What could I have done differently? Would it have mattered? Have I been too accepting of things that are obviously outside of God's commandments for my life and others? May God have mercy on America (and many other countries that had already gone down this road)!

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  4. Speaking from the heart Joni. And yes God have mercy on our country. Kathleen in Az

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  5. Great Job! I found myself feeling the same way! Thank You for writing this post!

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  6. Thank you for this. I've read many articles this past week and none have pointed straight to the real problem like yours has. Your blog is one of my favorites. Thanks for the daily laughs and encouragement! :)

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