Tuesday; February 13

Recently, I have been thinking a lot about the things that divide us – as a nation, in our communities and in our own individual relationships.  I have to warn you that my thoughts will probably be in contrast with some prevailing thought.  According to many who claim to know, what is wrong with our society can be reduced to terms of superficial qualities such as social privilege, race, gender or economics.  While it would be illogical to dismiss the differences in the environments in which we were raised or currently live, the thing that ultimately guides our actions is individual choice based upon the principles of our hearts and minds.  If I am a racist or a sexist, it shouldn’t be attributed to being a white, middle-class man; it is because I refuse to believe that, despite Jesus’ saving grace for all of us, we are all created equal in the eyes of God.  If I am addicted to drugs or alcohol, the excuse of grewing up in the economically-deprived inner city or Native American reservation isn’t justifiable; it is because I am seeking peace apart from the promises of God.  The explanation for why I abuse my children isn’t found in being poor or uneducated; it is because I choose to inflict pain rather than administer discipline.  Throughout history people have been poor, privileged, ruling-classes, slaves and everything in between, but that has never been an acceptable excuse for immoral and ungodly behavior.  Circumstances influence us; but, in the end, it is our chosen beliefs that define who we are and drive what we do. 
Over the last couple of hundred years our nation has been on a journey to define individual rights.  We have come a long way since 1776, but we still have a ways to go.  Yet, as we continue to hone the proper definition of what individual rights means, let’s not lose sight of an equally important concept – individual responsibly.  Stereotypes may justify how society identifies people, but as we stand before God in judgement, He won’t be considering how we look or where we were raised – He will be assessing our actions based upon our individual heart and mind.
           Think About It!

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