Earlier this year I attended a conference where there was a segment of the program where Native Americans were being honored. Okay, I get that. Yet, for me, a Caucasian male, I was a bit taken aback at the somewhat “political” tone of the moment, especially with the [reminder] that our event was being held on “stolen land.” Sigh…
Those of us in attendance were then requested to “all please stand” in order to honor and respect the Native Americans and their elders who were in attendance as they sang a song — an anthem, if you will. It was at this moment where I really wrestled with some things in my mind and in my heart. Just being completely honest here.
“Why should I stand when I feel like I am being indirectly shamed and scolded [as a Caucasian American…the “evil white man”]?!? How dare they request this of me!”
And then, at that moment, God rightly smacked me in my spirit as if to say, “Will, this is NOT about YOU, YOUR beef, or YOUR offense! This is about honoring and respecting those who have gone before us, who have been forced to make sacrifices and have paid the ultimate cost.”
Therefore, I stood up, in order to honor my fellow-man and respectfully remember the history of the moment. I had to choose to get my eyes off of myself and whatever beef that I had, justified or otherwise, and choose to respect and honor another. I didn’t kneel or sit down in protest as this moment was NOT about me!
Today in America, we have lost sight of what honor and respect is all about. We have become a self-serving and self-indulgent people who are far too busy DIS-honoring and DIS-respecting others such that we have become the “Divided States of America.” We continue to stir-up past [and present] hurts and offenses, throwing in heavy doses of political self-serving glorification. We prey on others, assuming the worst and believing in lies. This isn’t freedom — this is slavery and bondage, and it is destroying our country!
Luke 11:17 reminds us that, “Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall.” Sadly, this is where we are quickly heading today here in America.
So, how can we heal from all of this? How can we once again become the “United” States of America? I believe that we first need to get our eyes off of ourselves and remember that this is not about me…this is about WE!
Secondly, and more importantly, we cannot do this on our own. We need God to change us! And this can only happen through the gospel and the empowering of the Holy Spirit. Yes, this requires spiritual revival! Then and only then, can our lives [and land] become healed (2 Chronicles 7:14).
Therefore, we have a choice: Will we choose to break the chains and find true [and eternal] freedom through the gospel? Or, will we continue to be shackled by the chains, forever enslaving ourselves? Freedom or bondage?
The first step, is to get our eyes off of ourselves. So, are we willing to do that?