Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Mesopotamia, Rudyard Kipling 1917

They shall not return to us, the resolute, the young,
  The eager and whole-hearted whom we gave:
But the men who left them thriftily to die in their own dung,
  Shall they come with years and honour to the grave?

They shall not return to us; the strong men coldly slain
  In sight of help denied from day to day:
But the men who edged their agonies and chid them in their pain,
  Are they too strong and wise to put away?

Our dead shall not return to us while Day and Night divide--
  Never while the bars of sunset hold.
But the idle-minded overlings who quibbled while they died,
  Shall they thrust for high employments as of old?

Shall we only threaten and be angry for an hour?
  When the storm is ended shall we find
How softly but how swiftly they have sidled back to power
  By the favour and contrivance of their kind?

Even while they soothe us, while they promise large amends,
  Even while they make a show of fear,
Do they call upon their debtors, and take counsel with their friends,
  To conform and re-establish each career?

Their lives cannot repay us--their death could not undo--
  The shame that they have laid upon our race.
But the slothfulness that wasted and the arrogance that slew,
  Shall we leave it unabated in its place?

Saturday, August 10, 2013

politics and faith

I had a friend of mine ask me a question the other day. They said the current state of the nation and the politics involved makes them come across as bitter and angry when they talk about it due to their strong stance on certain issues. My friend asked me for advice on how I deal with our political world in its current state. I thought it might be good to share it with others because I'm sure thew are many of us who feel the same way.

First of all, we should search the bible for answers because I haven't found a human condition that isn't covered some way in the bible. Times may change, but people don't (Ecclesiastes 1:9-11). Get yourself a good study bible and take the time to study it. I have been studying pretty hard for the last year or two and it has really helped me.
The bible says we are to submit to our governments because they are put in place by God (Romans 13:17) until they tell us to do something that is direct violation of God's law (Acts 4:19). There is a time to act (Ecclesiastes 3:7-8) but I'm not sure when that time is or will be. So we need to ask God for wisdom (James 1:5-8).
As far as politics in general, I think we shouldn't get too involved. We are supposed to be in the world, but not of the world (John 15:19, 17:16). To me, politics are a worldly thing that takes us away from our main duties of taking care of our families (1 Timothy 5:4, Ecclesiastes 9:9-10) and sharing the message of Jesus (Matthew 28:18-20). Also, our battles shouldn't be with things of this world (Ephesians 6:12-13).
Other than that, just try and step back and not let it get to you too much and make you bitter (Hebrews 12:14-15, Ephesians 4:31-32). It's hard to do, but if we focus on the small stuff close to home that we can actually change - we'll be much happier.
Finally, we have to have faith (Romans 5, Ephesians 6:16) that God is in control and it's all part of His plan.
I hope this helps and I know exactly what you are going through. Let me know if I can help any other way. Thanks.