Saturday, November 12, 2016

Questions to Ponder

Before, during, and after the election, words have had a powerful effect on emotions, behavior, responses, and our well being.  Some words were spoken in truth and love while others stirred up anger and retaliation.  Neither side was exempt from conflict.  Once words were vocalized, they were up for interpretation and repetition.

The story is told of a man wanting to share some news with Socrates.  As he began talking, Socrates stopped and asked the man if it passed the 3 sieves test.
            Is it true?
            Is it good?
            Is it necessary?
Unless those three questions were answered affirmatively, the dialogue was halted.

Ernie Johnson recently commented that even though he knew his third party candidate would not win, he could not in good conscience vote for either major party candidate.  After the election he responded:  “I’m hopeful. I watched the video today on CNN of what was going on at the White House with Donald Trump and President Obama. I was hopeful and I was encouraged that there will be a difference between the President Trump and the campaigning Trump. And I’m with these guys, we have to give him a chance. But here’s the deal, I just hope he’s all in … in fixing the wounds in this country and the divides that separate this country. And I want to be part of that too. And for me to [be] part of it, I have to look in the mirror and say,
‘How am I going to be a better man?
How am I going to be a better neighbor?
How am I going to be a better citizen?
How am I going to be a better American?
How can I be a fountain and not a drain?'”

Abraham Lincoln stated:  Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God's side, for God is always right.”

Since I, too, want to do my part to be on God’s side, I also need to be willing to ask and respond to: 
How can I be a better follower of Christ in my words, thoughts, actions, reactions, and deeds?

We often ask God to bless America.  May we also be willing to ask:
How can we bless and honor God?

Paulo Cuelho reminds us, “The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion.” 

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Psalm 19:14

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
    for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
    for to you I entrust my life.
Psalm 143:8

Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.
Titus 3:1-2

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Ephesians 4:29-32

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
Colossians 4:6

Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
Matthew 5:9

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Philippians 4:8

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