Let’s just take a few minutes to talk about Donald Trump. My own heart rate is accelerating from the surge of blood pressure rising in my readers. For some of you, it’s because the mere mention of this name sparks a physical reaction in you. For others, it’s because you are thinking, “Oh honey, don’t go there. Your blogging days are fixn’ to die a violent death…”. Bear with me.
It’s true and real: Donald Trump is the President of the United States of America. I got emotional about this today. The emotions were not because I felt afraid of what that means to America or excited about the changes he might bring. To be honest, it really had nothing to do with Donald himself, because I don’t’ give Donald that kind of power over me. I felt emotional because of the way people are behaving in response to this reality. It is heartbreaking to see people choose to stop speaking to family members over who does and doesn’t support Trump. It is disturbing to see hate crimes done in his name, either in support or disdain. It is discouraging to see people excuse mean, disrespectful, unloving, unkind, judgmental words and rants by blaming it on one man. It’s baffling how seemingly rational, intelligent, respected individuals can lambast entire people groups because they are either for or against Trump.
I want to know how people can behave so poorly and use one man to justify it.
…And this is where my emotions kicked me in the gut…how often have I done the same? I was feeling pretty self-righteous for not joining in any of the nonsensical behavior surrounding Trump. I can live and let live and continue to act the way God wants me to in spite of him. But, how often (and how recent) have I used someone else’s bad behavior to justify my worse behavior? Or what about when they simply just don’t do things the way I think they should? How often do I live as if God will let me off the hook for my unthoughtful, unkind, disrespectful, manipulative, down-right mean words or actions because of how someone else chooses to behave or not behave? Have you ever done such things? Your husband/wife is being a nag or negligent, so you withhold affection because they haven’t earned it. Your boss is arrogant and never acknowledges your hard work, so disrespecting him in front of co-workers or undermining her with your gossip goes unchecked. You post something rude or embarrassing on social media about someone because, after all, they started it. I think you get my point…
NO ONE-Not your spouse, not your boss, not your pastor or kids or friends, or even Donald Trump-has the power to “make” you act in a way that is ugly or unloving. I need to check myself on this daily, because I am responsible for keeping my own side of the street clean; Not yours. God doesn’t give me a pass when I responded poorly as a result of another person’s broken behavior or because something I was passionate about didn’t go my way. If we can remember this principle, live by this truth and own our own actions and reactions, then our homes, our schools, our jobs, our cities, our states, and even our country just might have a fighting chance at becoming ONE NATION, UNDER GOD, INDIVISIBLE, WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL. Regardless of who sits in an Oval Office. And for God’s sake, and for everyone’s sake, let it begin with me.
(and a request: please reply to me PRIVATELY if you want to comment. My intention is not to start a war on the topic of Trump!)