My friend, Scott McGaha, wrote today’s WMD
Be honest, when you take a good look at America, do you only think warm, happy thoughts? Or do you see things you’d desperately like to change? Areas that need helping? Sin you’d like to stop? I don’t care if you’re talking to the most self righteous, hellfire and brimstone preacher or a diehard atheist, or someone somewhere in between, everyone sees areas they’d change. Societal injustices that should be righted, homeless that should be sheltered and fed, crime that should be punished and hurt that needs healing. There’s literally something for everyone.
My parents raised me in church so it’s just always been a part of who I am, even when I haven’t necessarily been a part of it. There have been times when I could spot faults and failures with the best of them. My microscopic vision could see the tiniest speck of sawdust in my brother’s eye, while an entire forest was growing out of mine. And oh the sermons I’ve heard, and repeated. One theme came to mind this week.
2 Chronicles 7:14 is one of the church’s favorites when talking about the world or our society. “Oh, if people would only humble themselves and turn from their sinful ways” I’ve heard on many occasions. But until the other day, I’d always missed the directions.
I had a teacher back in high school who talked about the importance of reading directions. She told us about a college course she took once, whose professor had harped on reading directions. He handed out the exam, a very lengthy amount of pages, and students quickly started working on the many questions. She remembered his admonition, so she read the directions. It began with please read the directions entirely before you begin, something most of her classmates clearly weren’t doing. The next sentence said, put down your pen or pencil, remain silent until the exam is over. That was all. That was the entire test, did you read the directions. Only she and a few others did. They got an A. The rest all failed.
Which brings me back to my original point, I think we have failed to read the directions as Christians. We shout from our soapbox about all that is wrong with the world, how the United States is nothing more than a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah, and how much we hope The Rapture is coming soon. And all this time, we have been failing our test, just like the majority of my teacher’s classmates. God plainly said “If My people…called by My name…,” not lost people who don’t know Him. Who is He talking to? He’s talking to me. And if you consider yourself to be a Christian, He’s talking to you. Every single one of us. How do I know that? Go back to my original question. Now ask yourself, in light of all you see wrong in this country, can you honestly say God has healed our land? There was work for us to do first:
1. Humble ourselves – get off our soapbox and down on our knees, which goes perfectly with
2. Pray and seek His face – if we do that, it should happen almost naturally that we would
3. Turn from our wicked ways – He plainly says, His people and their wicked ways, not if His people would just get sinners to turn from their wicked ways, then
4. He will heal our land.
Have I done all these things? No, I honestly haven’t. I’ve been too caught up watching others. This week reminded me to read the directions. I encourage you to do the same. If we do, there’s no telling what we might see happen, though I doubt you’ll get any college credit hours