Yesterday, I had an emergency meeting at work that was talking about preparing for a shutdown in our agency. This has been going on for a while. When I first heard about the shutdown at the beginning (March) first I have to admit, I was nervous and freaking out. Then I turned to God for help and gave him all of my burdens and I haven't been feeling stressed out since then. Until yesterday, the meeting has gotten me upset again, I texted my good friend and we both prayed together. I needed that and all of my worries slowly lifted back up to God again. Thank goodness I had a long commute home because by the time I got home, I was fine!
For those who don't know, I'm a democrat and my husband is a republican. From that, you should know that there is always fire going on between us, it does make our marriage very exciting :) I absolutely adore my husband, he is a sweetheart with the most beautiful soul that God has ever given him. We both have our disagreements, who doesn't!? We both have learned to agree to disagree but in this case, we both believe that both parties are at fault. They are so blinded by how this is affecting the American people and is using this for their self interest for the elections for next year, come on! I'm tired of hearing them blame each other. I'm tired of anybody pointing fingers at each other. Have we all learned that it doesn't get us anywhere??
So after my discussion with my husband, I decided to go back to reading the book "Everything Belongs", I am now on Chapter Four. Of course, I'm not surprised, this is what I found in the book. I know I didn't read this by accident. God knew when it was the right time for me to read this chapter.
"It's so easy, too easy to demonize the other side. We see it written large in elections in this country. All either party knows how to do is attack the other side. I don't know how much contemplation our national political leaders do. They probably don't know about it. But it is dangerous to have public officials who have no inner life. They'll operate out of illusion, self-interest, power, and fear, especially fear of not being reelected. We don't have anything positive to believe in, anything that is enlightened or rich or deep. Negative identity, shallow as it is, comes more easily than dedicated choice. It is frankly much easier to be against than to be for." pp 107
"We also live too much in reaction to others. There is something strangely sweet about negative or accusatory feelings. It's a strange way to achieve moral superiority: to feel right because someone else is wrong. We keep thinking until we've maneuvered ourselves into a position over somebody else. Now we've got righteous control over somebody else, but we have nothing beyond that control. It is another dead end." pp 109.
We need to stop focusing on who's right and who's wrong, it's hurting us. We also need to stop focusing on being the "best" and show humility. "The Gospel is not a competing idea. It's that by which we see all ideas in proper context. We believe as Christians that Jesus has given us the ideal eyes by which to see the real nature of reality. He does NOT LEAD with his judgements. When we lead with our judgements, we can't see correctly. When we lead with fear, we can't see correctly. That doesn't mean that at a later time where there isn't an appropriate point for a cautionary response of judgements, but we can't lead with them. If we lead with the calculating mind, we'll never get to love. God refuses to be known except by love." pp.95
Have you ever felt that you're always right? or think that you're right? Or become annoyed with someone who thinks that they are always right? Judge them for judging us? Or try to make others feel guilty? Or make others think the way we think?
It can be frustrating to me who says that they accept you who you are but yet, tries to change you. We need to remember that no matter how controlling, rude, hypocritical, convincing that they are, we should not feel obligated to follow them. We also should not blame them no matter how difficult they may be. We need to remember to "love thy neighbor" and "to forgive as God as forgiven you". All they want is a reaction out of you, it's wrong but it's worse when you give it to them. God wants us to be who we are and respect others for their uniqueness too.
Sometimes groupthink can be dangerous...it is easy to follow what others believe because you want to be respected and have their approval. The only approval we should be seeking from is God's.
"Jesus tells us in the Gospels 'Don't be afraid'. He is saying it is radically okay. You can trust yourself because God trusts you, using your journey, your experience. Nothing will be wasted; all has been forgiven; nothing will be used against you. In fact, God will even use your sins to transform you!" pp. 129.