Good. Right. True.
There is a lot of good in this world! There are many good people doing a lot of good things. There is significantly more good than what our society is focusing on, or at least our media is focusing on. There are moms and dads, including single moms and dads, who are raising their children well, people of faith who practice what they profess, educators who teach with excellence and passion, police and lawyers and judges who are just and fair, politicians who are articulate and professional, doctors and nurses who are compassionate and thorough, business owners who meet needs and serve clients. And God's presence scattered throughout.
But do these moms, dads, people of faith, educators, police, lawyers, judges, politicians, doctors, nurses, owners…get everything right one hundred percent of the time? No. Does the best of us get tired, lazy, disgruntled? Yes. Do we all have some level of brokenness, immaturity, irresponsibility that informs our decision-making? Yes. Do we all have sin that distracts and so easily entangles? Yes.
We are missing what is so good about our humanity, our nation. We are missing that blaming, complaining, criticizing, condemning tears down all that is good, right, and true about ourselves.
In our misdirected focus, we are missing God and the path to get to good, right, true.
There is no verse in the Bible that says, “You should denounce, disparage, and demean.” There is no gift of criticism among the spiritual gifts.
There is no path where we lose our humanity that ends well. There is no path where reactive anger leads us to freedom, equality, justice for all, or as our pledge says, “liberty and justice for all.”
On the contrary, the Bible teaches us to focus on all that is good, right, and true…
Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. Philippians 4:8
The Bible encourages humility…
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4
The Bible instructs us to speak well of one another…
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29
The Bible gives us the direction…
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself. Luke 10:27
Again, do even those who claim to follow these principles do so perfectly all the time? No. You might say that is a cop-out, an excuse for hypocrisy. If it is, then we all need an out sometimes. We all have our moments where our words and actions are not entirely aligned with our beliefs. And for who do not really know what they believe or have a shaky belief system or even have times of questioning their beliefs, which is OK, their words and actions will more consistently show it.
We all need grace. We all need redemption.
And no one does grace and redemption better than Jesus.
Redeems without condemnation (John 3:16-17)
Saves with grace (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Restores brokenness (Isaiah 61:1)
Makes new (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Gives rest to weary souls (Matthew 11:28)
Because of Jesus, we can stand firm on the fact that the sins we confess and lies we turn from are forgiven and forgotten, and His mercies are new every day.
The angels declare, “The whole earth is filled with God’s glory.” Isaiah 6:3
The angels see something we cannot quite see…the earth filled with God’s glory.
If we look close enough, we will see God’s glory regardless of the struggles we endure throughout life. If we turn and look in the right direction, towards Jesus, we will start to see what the angels see - whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, anything excellent and praiseworthy. We will see God’s glory.
Practical tip: You can’t pray, “God, help me see your glory today,” and then turn on the media. It will eventually distract you from His glory.