Building with many hands

Studying politics can be frustrating.

First, you spend all kinds of time learning what government is SUPPOSED to do. You learn about the needs of populations, including things like money, shelter, protection, and the like.

Next, you learn about the amazing things governors (in the general sense: those who govern) CAN do. You study documents like the Declaration of Independence and the Federalist Papers. Then you follow the exploits of Alexander the Great or Julius Caesar, paying special attention to the way they build their empires. You take in the philosophies of Plato, Machiavelli, and Sun Tzu.

Third, you start to study what ACTUALLY happens. It's here that things get ugly.

You quickly find out that voters are fickle and childish. Government officials are often corrupt and self seeking. Much of so-called "political discourse" is actually a giant whine-fest between large organizations consumed by their own self-centeredness. True statesmenship is extremely rare.

Finally, if you're really tough, you go and work for a political organization. It's here you find that most of the stuff in the FIRST two steps is basically gone, and the third step rules. You thought voters were, "fickle," but they're actually just selfish and not thoughtful (I would almost use the word stupid, but in fairness that only applies to maybe 60% of voters). You thought government officials were corrupt and self seeking, but you find that not only are they both of those, but they're pretty thick to boot. You think large groups are whiners who have unreasonable demands, but then you find out that they are whiners who KNOW their demands are unreasonable, and insist on them anyways.

What am I trying to say? Just this; it's enough to drive a smart person who wants good things to become dictator of their own little circle. I struggle not to have this happen to me. I have a hard time believing anyone is as competant as me, so I grab the power and do things my way.

However, CCF and UBC have really helped me change that policy. I was studying 1 Thessalonians today, and was impressed by Paul's perspective. He suggests that even though the church is very loving and faithful, they can do even MORE to honor God. How should they do it? By respecting their leaders, by encouraging and exhorting and admonishing and correcting each other, and by pushing each other toward holiness as much as possible.

My small group did that today. It means a lot to me to see them helping each other challenge the sin we all struggle with. If you are a Christian, you need to be SEEKING a church community that will place wise leaders over you, and that will encourage and admonish and push you in your faith. Everyone needs it; even the loving and faithful Thessalonians. What makes you think you're any different?

My prayer is that God would teach me to trust loving and honest interactive relationships within the church, rather than making myself dictator of my own personal domain. Only then will I be on the correct and God-ordained road to holiness.