What Defines You?

IMAGE_184What would happen if you took your immediate family, your close friends, and a handful of co-workers; you sat them down and then you asked them to write down one or two things that they think defines you. In other words, you want them to write down what you talk about the most, what you blog about, what your FaceBook about the most, what you Twitter about, and what you e-mail about. If they weren’t afraid to incur your wrath, what would they say?

In the past couple months I’ve had multiple opportunities to be around people that have very definite opinions about politics (and I do too, btw). They have opinions (which we all should have), but it’s what you hear about the most. They have a stand and that’s what they talk about (and I mean a lot!). Sadly most of their conversation is complaint or bashing. It’s about what’s wrong with the current administration and what they wish was different.

Now before you begin make assumptions about my political views, let me be clear. I have definite political opinions. And I do not agree with much our current president and administration are doing. I take voting seriously and I am grateful to God that I have the ability (you wouldn’t in many other parts of the world) to affect our government. I pray for our government and our country. If asked, I give my opinions. I’m grateful I was born in the United States and I’m grateful to be an American (and a Southerner at that!). I’m not promoting a no care about politics attitude. Oh, no! I think we have a responsibility to vote and to have a voice. But, what does our voice sound like? And what is defining that voice?

The Bible has some interesting things to say about government…

Romans13:1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. 7 Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people…Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor. 1 Peter 2:13-15, 17

In Paul’s day the government was beyond corrupt. They were wicked and cruel. They did horrible things to Christians. They were unreasonable and wicked. Yet, God called them (and us) to respect their leaders and to submit to them. No matter what your opinion in politics, it’s better here than in the Roman government. What defines you? God or politics? A better way to say it may be, where is your heart? Where is your home? Are you building residence on earth or are you a sojourner? What citizenry is most important? American or Heaven? Which one do you talk about the most?

I love politics. I love them too much. I keep a tight reign on the quantity of political news I read. I read enough to be a good informed citizen, but that’s it. I know my sinful nature. I really get into it. I put my earthly citizenship (which I’m very proud of) ahead of a much more important citizenship. I begin to get anxious when things don’t seem to be going well. I forget that God is in control of kings and kingdoms. I begin criticizing government officials and self-righteously judging their actions. I quickly become the unmerciful servant.

So, I read what I need to know and then place the rest in my Sovereign God’s hands. I vote and do whatever I need to as a faithful American citizen. But, I do not want to be defined an American citizen. I want everyone to know that I am a citizen of Heaven!!!

 

And if politics aren’t a big deal to you, what else defines you? What do you talk, FaceBook, Twitter, blog, e-mail about most. Where your treasure is, is where your heart will be. 

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