The forest for the trees.

Wisdom. It sometimes seems like a dying art.

But it’s understandable. The world’s not kind. It’s a hateful place, insidious really. It stands for a lot of things like love and toleration but then bites back if you’re not a zealot on one side of the argument or even the other.

It’s hypocritical, and therefore, a liar.

I’m listening to a book called called Ordinary by Michael Horton. This book alongside Charlotte Mason’s Ourselves will be required reading when I’m president. We’ll also be breaking out into small groups to discuss the vast, brilliant nuances of The Office so you might want to brush up now.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

But this book is great in so many ways, but I’ll just hit on one: there’s a very strange phenomenon in this country on what’s considered Christian, including certain legislation that points to “Christian” ideals.

Ask yourself why this is. Why do we want major platforms to stand behind? 

Maybe because it’s easier to yell from a safe distance than to speak softly and look a hurting person in the eyes.

We often miss the forest for the trees, don’t we? 

We might argue that these particular platforms are Biblical. And some do coincide with a general understanding and respect for life that’s threaded throughout the Bible. We all need to honor God’s creation and be prepared for the consequences when we don’t. But the last time I checked, our duty isn’t to bring noise against things that don’t support our American Christian perspective. 

Our duty is to die to self, love God above all else, and love our neighbor. And sometimes, when we pridefully hold onto our bumper sticker theology, our favorite pundit at his pulpit, we let go of what Christ desires of us.

James says this about wisdom:

“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.”

James 3:17

Other versions say “wiling to yield.” Are we willing to yield on our favorite political/religious positions to actually listen to another human being? Are we willing to pray for someone who’d much rather spit in our faces?

It’s true. We must have a defense of the faith, but ultimately the faith can defend itself. This is Christ’s church. Not even the gates of hell will keep it from spreading. 

Think of it: Jesus, who most people think of as some guy who probably never even existed (there’s so much proof to deny this it makes my teeth hurt, but I digress), hung on a cross over two thousand years ago and what should have fizzled out before it even started has become a movement that’s slowly and steadily fighting the darkness. Has the Church always been perfectly holy? Nope, but then again it consists of people, and as our former pastor once said, “people have an uncanny knack for screwing things up.”

So it will continue to move and breathe throughout this world to the end of time itself. And God will redeem the pain we leave in our wake. But we can still choose the way in which the Church grows, hopefully with wise judgment and a heart for others. 

It’s easy to get angry and confuse this anger with God’s righteous anger. It’s easy to go online and argue until you’re blue in the face with a nonbeliever or even worse, a believer, a brother or sister in Christ. It gets us nowhere.

But what does get us somewhere is loving the orphan and the widow. Taking time to get to know the person who lives next to you. Not wavering in your ideals but sharing them in a way that shows the love of Jesus.

That is true religion, and that is its own true political movement when you think about it.

Because nobody ever knows what to do when they witness self-control. It’s an antidote to the chaotic thought process that gives birth to platforms and podiums and pronouncing our opinions that may be true but may not be wise in the way we tend to share them.

It’s easy to scream in the darkness. It’s a lot harder to stay calm and light a match.

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