Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Thankful for...Freedom!

Freedom!

The specific freedom that I am thankful for today is the freedom that comes from living in a country where we all have the right to vote and to choose our governing officials.  Over the course of history, many many and women have fought long and hard to earn this right for us.  When you don't exercise our right to vote, what does that tell all of these people who fought for this for you?  Granted, there are situations where it may not be possible to get out and vote, but I just couldn't fathom letting yesterday pass by without voting.  

I spent most of yesterday at the hospital with my daughter and I got home at almost 6:00 pm.  I turned right around after getting her in the house and went to my polling location.  I was tired and worn out and just wanted to sit and relax.  But I had less than an hour to do my part to help make a difference in our nation.  I had an obligation as a citizen of this great country.  I left and I vote.  I didn't want to wait in a line.  Who does?  But if I had not gone, I would never have known that I'd be in and out of the polling place in less than five minutes!

This post isn't meant to ignite a political debate.  The other part of this freedom that I am thankful for is the freedom of being able to choose the party you support or not support, and the ability to have opinions.  They may be in alignment with mine - or they may not.  We may be in agreement on some issues, but be far apart on others.  The point is that we all are entitled to our opinions here - political, religious and otherwise.

I have to say, though, that as I scrolled through my facebook wall and twitter feed last night and this morning, I was saddened and disappointed.  I understand that there are people who are not happy with the outcome of the election.  I can't argue with that.  Of course people will be unhappy when their preferred candidate did not win.  That said, I am seeing posts where people are crossing the line of just expressing disappointment to being hate-filled.  There's a fine line and even a comment with the slightest tone of "hate" is still "hate".

Hate.

It is an ugly word.

And it is an ugly truth.

I don't know if it's the heightened social awareness we have due to all of the social media outlets we have bombarding us 24 hours a day that makes the difference this time around.  I'm not sure.  But I am sensing so much negativity and even hate this time around that I don't think I've seen in my relatively short voting history.

It's sad.

I am not going share how I voted.  And I never write political posts, so this is foreign territory for me. It's just so upsetting to see how divided our nation is right now.  The fingers of blame are pointing in all directions.  I've seen posts that would lead you to believe that we are in the end times.  I've seen people jokingly threaten to leave the country if last night's outcome went a certain way.

In the end, we all have the right to free speech, and our opinions are all welcome.  That is part of what makes our country great.  Certainly emotions are going to be heightened in the time immediately following the election, whether they are positive or negative.  But there has to come a time when we all settle ourselves and come together in support of this country.  Our leader was chosen by the people.  Like it or not, the results the people exercised their right to vote.

Hatred and division are not going to help build this country up.  If this attitude persists, it will tear this country down.  If that begins to happen, we cannot place that blame on the President.  He has no control over the people behave.

Matthew 12:25 {NIV}
"Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand."

The people have spoken and we the election results are in.  Whether it's what we wanted or not, the current leadership is going to continue.  We would be better served if we ceased with the hatred being displayed.  We would be better served if we offered this man respect.  I am constantly amazed at the disrespect shown to opposing parties in political ad campaigns.  But I'm even more amazed at the blatant disrespect that the people have displayed.  Yes, we are entitled to our opinions, but do we have to be childish?  Do we have to get down in the mud and start hurling it at one another?  What kind of an example of God's people are we being?  It's not just non-Christians who are behaving this way.  It's not just people in higher positions behaving this way.  It's the people we see every day - good Christian people included!

You may not be a Christian - and that's your right too.  If you don't pray, then you don't.  But our leadership deserves our respect at the very least.  If you are a Christian and if you do pray, I strongly urge you to pray for our leadership.  You can't effect a change if all you do is hurl insults.  Think of the example that is being set for the younger generations!  That is sad.

Allow your feelings to come.  Deal with them and let's move on.  Let's lay down our slingshots and stop casting stones at our leaders and each other.  We cannot allow our country to sink into a state of hatred and negativity.  We have to do better for ourselves and for our children!  We may or may not be pleased with the results of the election, but we cannot allow ourselves to be a part of the problem that has the potential to become a dangerously negative society in which to live.

I urge you to pray.

1 Timothy 2:1-2 {NIV}
"I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people - for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness."

Titus 3:1-2 (NIV}
"Remind the believers to submit to the government and its officers.  They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good.  They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling.  Intad, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone."
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