Today’s Word from Pastor Jim

“Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29

“A cheerful heart is a good medicine, but a downcast spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22

Don’t make a comment about how bad things are in our country, or our world for that matter. Rather ask a question; ask how you can be a part of making things better. One does not have to possess astute powers of observation to recognize the injustices, greed, bigotry, and cruelty that is a part of the human story. Endlessly grousing about the way things are (without lifting a finger to promote change) is not the least bit helpful. In fact, the opposite is true. Dwelling on problems that are out of our control will lead us to feel powerless and hopeless. People who feel powerless and hopeless are of little good to themselves or anyone else.

Don’t make a comment about how bad things are in our country; rather ask how you can be a part of making our country better. I don’t really want to be around people who wring their hands, while seemingly enjoying the melancholy that goes with the constant drumbeat of bad news. Life is too short to hang with people who wait for clouds when blessed with blue skies, or fret unnecessarily over the harmful effects of sunshine.

Every day is a gift, and every day we are called by the waters of baptism to be people of hope and agents for change. How can we be a part of making the world better? Well, for most of us it starts at home, with those we live with. On your own there is very little you can do to help starving children in Africa, but with minimal effort, you can be more patient (and kinder) to those who won the lottery, and get to live with you. On your own there is very little you can do to dismantle systemic racism, but you can confront your own prejudices, and learn to love your neighbor regardless of their color or orientation. On your own there is very little you can do about those politicians in Washington, but you can vote, and you can peacefully protest, and you can lobby those who legislate.

Don’t make an obvious, less than hopeful, observation about all that is wrong in the world. How is that helpful? Be empowered to serve, and inspire others to follow. Do your part, where you are, to make your family, your community, your nation, and the world a better place. Replace “woe is me” with “look at what we can do together.” People are attracted to people of hope. Hope seems to be lacking in our country right now, but we are, by definition, people of hope. With God nothing is impossible. The problems of the world will never totally disappear, but that should not dampen our resolve to do the good work that God has given us.

One day closer, how is that for hopeful?

Pastor Jim

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