Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
2020 was a complicated year for most. While there were good moments, they were often overshadowed by a pandemic, racial injustice, unstable political climates, the effects of global warming, and broken economies. People lost their jobs, their homes, and for some – their lives. It’s easy to understand why people wanted to have hope for 2021. Yet, in the United States – 2021 was off to quite the start.
January 6th made history. The Capitol Hill riot was violent and unprecedented. As news outlets and social media covered what was happening, we saw what many had tried to ignore. No matter how much history books had tried to downplay the atrocities of America’s past, hatred has remained interwoven into the fabric of our society. As many have already expressed – when America says this is not who we are – many of us know that to be a lie. What we saw has been living in America for quite some time – this moment was destined to happen.
There are many situations that are causing to ask what needs to be done to bring about a better environment. We want to know which policies will bring about social equality, who will be in power, are these signs of the end times, will the global climate crisis kill us all, is prophecy being fulfilled, and if God is even real. Our questions are different, but the importance to us personally is what matters the most.
Sometimes we’re okay with not having all the answers; we accept what life gives us. Nevertheless, there are times when we seek answers to the “future” with desperation and a sense of overwhelming urgency. We need to know what will come, and we need to know now, in case we’re missing out on something. When we become desperate, we become vulnerable.
There are those who seek to manipulate us into believing the philosophies they are selling, often for their own personal gain. We feed their narcissism, and in turn, they feed our insecurities. It’s a dangerous exchange that many of us participate in without realizing what’s happening. Too many times, we fall simply because we think we can’t. Pride blocks our view and impairs our decisions. We forget to seek God, because (unknowingly) we’re consumed with self.
Are we different from the rioters?
Pride also allows us to fight the idea that maybe – we could be wrong. Standing for what you believe to be right versus identifying a needed change is a difficult line to walk. I have no doubt that some of the rioters at Capitol Hill genuinely believed they were fighting for their freedom. They believed in their leaders and found “reliable sources” to confirm their opinions. They cast aside any facts that refuted what they thought to be true. Confirmation bias won, as it has done with almost all, and they stormed the capital. We are not above searching so that we can be right as opposed to searching so we can be true.
And I get it. It’s hard to change course when you’ve already put so much time and emotion into what you already know, but changing course is exactly what God calls us to do. We are called to seek His will with open hearts, and place weight into our actions – because they matter. We’re expected to guard the avenues of our souls. God requires us to think through our choices and be responsible for our actions. We can choose to spread love and hope or hate and fear. We can also choose silence, but make no mistake, God holds us responsible for that choice too.
Protecting our Souls
There are times, like Jonah, when we stray against the will of God, trading His wisdom for our own. When that happens, God asks us to change course. We can choose not to, but we must live with those outcomes. There are other times, like Aaron, when we give into the pressure of the group so that we don’t have to stand alone. Group think has become prevalent in our society at alarmingly high levels. Group think allows us the chance to be a part of something, even if that something is wrong.
I know that standing alone is difficult, and when needed, God sends help. Just like when Moses came down from the mountain to bring the Israelites back to God after Aaron’s mismanagement, God will search the corners of our hearts to bring us back to Him. I’m thankful to know we serve a God who doesn’t abandon us in difficult times. He watches over us, tapping us on the shoulder to let us know when we’ve made a wrong turn. What we do after that is up to us, but I pray that we make the best decisions we can possibly make, and not get caught up in what others would want us to do.Print This Devotional