Is a dangerous world out there…
Especially here in Minnesota…
On Sunday, ABC’s This Week discussed the political fallout from the annual CPAC conference and the entire panel, excluding conservative radio talk show host Laura Ingraham, deemed the conservative gathering politically dangerous for any potential Republican presidential candidate. ABC’s Matthew Dowd claimed that CPAC was so far to the right “[w]hat would happen if Ronald Reagan, with that record, had shown up at this conference? He would have been booed.”
Desperate to tear down 2016 Republican frontrunner Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, co-host Matt Lauer led off Friday’s NBC Today by proclaiming: “Governor’s gaffe?…Presidential hopeful Scott Walker under fire for saying his experience with union protesters has prepared him to take on ISIS. Is it the first major blunder of the presidential race?”
On Sunday, Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd sat down with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to discuss the ongoing battle over the President Obama’s executive action on immigration and its connection to funding for the Department of Homeland Security. Todd repeatedly insisted that “[t]his immigration dispute in the funding of Homeland Security was a cliff that the Republicans chose to create, and in this case as far as making the protest over the immigration policy a part of Homeland Security.”
On Friday evening, the Big Three networks continued their blackouts on the Thursday revelation that the Treasury Department’s deputy inspector general, Timothy Camus, is conducting an “active investigation” into the “potential criminal activity” at the IRS over Lois Lerner’s supposedly missing e-mails. Instead, ABC’s World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News all devoted full segments to the viral photograph of a dress that appears to be either black and blue or gold and white.
On Friday, NBC finally noticed the corruption scandal swirling around Hillary Clinton. However, the coverage on the Today show was relegated to a 49-second mention within a story slamming Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. By contrast, the morning show devoted 3 minutes 56 seconds to a social media debate about the color of a dress.
"She said to the king, ‘The report I heard in my own country about your achievements and your wisdom is true. But I did not believe these things until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, not even half was told me; in wisdom and wealth you have far exceeded the report I heard’" (1 Kings 10:6-8).
"I’m shocked," said the woman on the phone. "I’ve just seen your picture. I was expecting a grey haired old man. You are too young to have the wisdom that I read in your messages."
When people meet you, or experience your work life skills, would they say that you far exceeded their expectations? Do you undersell and over produce, or oversell and under produce? Solomon’s wisdom far exceeded any man’s wisdom and it was evident to others. When people come in contact with you do they come away with a sense of greater appreciation of you after meeting you?
"Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings; he will not serve before obscure men" (Prov 22:29). Whenever we exceed the expectations of man, we bring glory to our Heavenly Father and He often elevates us among men.
Bezalel was a man who designed the ark of the covenant for Moses because God handpicked him to design it because of his exceptional skill. Then Moses said to the Israelites, "See, the LORD has chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts – to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of artistic craftsmanship. And he has given both him and Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, the ability to teach others" (Ex 35:30-35).
If there were a Kingdom project to be done would God recommend you for the job? God calls you and me to live our lives and do our work with excellence.
Restoring the image
For reading & meditation: 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28
"May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." (v.23) We continue meditating on the importance of looking at life "steadily and whole". I venture to suggest that people who are not Christians are unable to see life as a whole. How can they, when their thinking takes place only on the level of the natural? Natural thinking is notoriously partial and incomplete. Take, for example, the field of medicine. A generation ago doctors treated the symptoms that people presented to them, but now, with a clearer understanding of how the mind affects physical health, they have come to see that this approach was partial. One doctor said: "At long last the medical profession has discovered that the patient himself is important." Medicine is fast moving towards what is described as a "holistic" approach as more and more doctors begin to realise that it is not enough to treat the problem, we must also treat the person. They are still far from seeing that there is also a spiritual element in the person that has to be considered, but perhaps in time that will come. Christian counselling suffers from the same problem – it does not see the whole picture. I am tired of reading books on Christian counselling that give just one side of the issue and suggest that problems can be resolved by applying one special technique. Man was created as a whole person and he will never be helped back to wholeness unless every part of his being is treated – spirit, soul and body. God wants to restore His image in us: not in part of us but in the whole.
O Father, forgive us that so often we settle for the half view of things rather than the whole. Quicken my spiritual understanding so that I have Your view on all things – the "whole" view. In Jesus’ Name I ask it. Amen.