What a terror filled summer this has been in America. Topping it off have been power players proving points at the expense of other people, creating even more disunity. Ted Cruz, John Kasich, President Obama, BLM, Snipers, ISIS attacks and the latest from NBA Commissioner Adam Sterling usurping his position to dictate law to the state of North Carolina, are just a few examples. How does an Average Joe deal with actions that bring on outrage made by ‘Point Provers’? Regardless of our viewpoint on all the tough subjects, should we just sit and do nothing and say nothing? Alternatively, should we turn over tables and shout about our dismay?
My natural state is to rage on the inside but bite my tongue or pen from the fear of having opposition actions or statements backfire. Providing opinions on controversial subjects can cause you to lose many friends and make enemies. Just ask Ted Cruz who was destroyed on his own Facebook page for his childish antics to prove a point against Donald Trump for being mean during the primaries. Forget the fact he already knew beforehand that a heavily contested ticket with twelve other people was eventually going to get personal. His biggest mistake though was making a promise to suck it up and support the winner. Even most people in football bowl time support the archrivals from their conference when the national appearances are made. I guess that was too much for him, and he chose not being united with the party he claims to be a part of and snubbed its appointee.
(in case you are unaware, clicking on the underlined notes will take you to the article)
First, we cannot lose our cool and explode. In the business and political world one learns that blowing up bridges is a permanent, last forever, mistake. Cruz and Kasich will not recover easily from their snubs of the people’s choice (like Donald Trump or not, the voters decided). Shooting the police, shooting each other, rioting, burning buildings, shutting down highways putting people in harm’s way, proves a point, but could cost innocent lives.
Second words need to be guarded so as not stir up additional anger and provide revenge seeking crazies the fuse that sets them off. While I understand Our President’s viewpoint in needing to point out that, yes, there is discrimination and racism in our country, to incite terror towards the police by using the example of a criminal reaching for a gun in his pocket as the point, is a terrible place to try to prove the subject matter. I absolutely agree racism is a problem that needs to be addressed as I have written before.
Having been a military policeman, I also understand the difficulties of tough split decisions that need to be made. Eulogizing Alton Sterling, as Obama did, at the worst of times during a police funeral created by a sniper, was a poor choice. If you think differently, watch the videos, what would you have done if you were the two policemen that had already tasered a large man, whom a 911 call was made about him having a gun, and then feeling the gun in your gut as he wrestled with you so he could get the gun and possibly shoot you? I know what I would have done, regardless of his race or color. Size matters, so much so that the two taser shots made the first time he refused to surrender did not even faze the guy.
Third is keeping perspective of what our own purpose in life is about. This is not a happy and perfect world. The division between people of all races, colors, religions, belief systems, moral standards, and various viewpoints is vast. Certainly, we must be aware of what is happening and keep our own lives and situations in check. Do an inventory of how it affects you. Can you do anything about it?
Most likely the answer is no. However, you can vote. You can voice opinions. You can let people who are involved know that you either approve of their actions or disapprove of them. You can boycott products or not shop at places you do not agree with, like Target. Or if you feel the other way, spend your money there all the more.
I must admit the decision by Adam Sterling to pull the NBA All star game from my hometown was and is infuriating. I partially agree with Pat McCrory over the bathroom decision as it protects women and children. But, he could have altered some of the policy to make it more satisfactory for all, but he did not, which makes me angry. However, Sterling was clearly out to prove a point and used power that he did not earn or should not abuse to dictate his personal viewpoint. It will take away a huge chunk of money from the area, punishing the city for what was voted in by a state legislature.
The hypocrisy behind Sterling’s decision that should be pointed out is; what about all the other issues facing the league? The number one replacement city, to provide a safe and inclusive environment for all attendees, is New Orleans. Right, move the game to New Orleans, which has the second highest murder rate in the nation. Continue on with plans to expand to China and Mexico where human rights are abused in a far greater capacity than that of the .0001% of the population that need to prove a point and use a woman’s restroom because, I don’t even know why.
Finally is to not lose hope or give up, and spend time praying. We need more than people power to bring unity to this world. Change may come from the next President or leader, but do not count on it, start with yourself and those you can effect change with around you. Change takes time.
Sometimes we do have to suck it up and live with the situation. Other times, like I am doing now, require stepping back and taking the time to find the truth and point out the underlying factors of Point Provers. It may require pointing out to others there are hidden factors that should be considered before finalizing judgment and taking foolish actions. For instance, watch the videos made by the ‘loving and caring’ poor mother who filmed the Castile shooting. She claimed her love for her four year old daughter to prove what she was all about, a nice loving mother raising her child the proper way. Right, see the videos from the same phone she used days before and posted them publicly. (not that it proves the police innocent in the matter, but her recent history and story stretching makes you wonder what really happened, which is yet to be determined at this writing).
Interested in the Portico view, read on for, how did Jesus deal with ‘Point Provers?
Jesus had people trying to ‘trap him into saying something they could use against him’. So difficult was the task of finding lies or sins in his life that of all things, they got on Him about not washing His hands before a meal. Read Luke 11:37 -54 for the whole scene.
While the most important facet of Jesus ministries was bringing salvation to the lost, bringing truth to the world, loving unconditionally, and bringing healing to the world, he did NOT hesitate in pointing out the hypocrisy of Point Provers. If you read the section outlined in one portion He said: “What sorrow awaits you Pharisees! For you love to sit in the seats of honor in the synagogues and receive respectful greetings as you walk in the marketplaces. Yes, what sorrow awaits you! For you are like hidden graves in a field. People walk over them without knowing the corruption they are stepping on.”
Jesus stood His ground when necessary, some realized the error of their ways and changed. Many did not. He was careful to not lose His cool, although like you and I He probably wanted to. He also guarded His words, even though they accused Him of insulting them. However, of biggest importance, He never lost perspective.
I love the word meanwhile stated in the next chapter. Jesus had a mission and a following, He was not going to allow petty point proving individuals and groups to sway Him from His ministry. Luke 12 described the scene, just after the Point Provers got on him about not washing His hands according to tradition. (kind of like how ridiculous it is for a city to lose $100million because the state set a rule that if you are born to stand and pee, you cannot go in the girls bathroom) Meanwhile, the crowds grew until thousands were milling about and stepping on each other. Jesus turned first to his disciples and warned them, He kept His focus on the people who were their seeking His help. And to them he pointed out what the Point Provers were doing and warned them, “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees—their hypocrisy. The time is coming when everything that is covered up will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all. Whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be shouted from the housetops for all to hear!
In closing, Jesus’ message of love also had truth regarding those who practice evil. We all are right to be in fear of ISIS. They have moved into our cities and those who have covered their beliefs have come out in places like Orlando to spread their hate on innocent people. Snipers have killed police. Whites are killing whites and blacks are killing blacks and the death tolls rise daily around the world. Every day we read of a latest terror attack and of people being killed.
God could judge and close things down in the blink of an eye. It is not what my loving God wants, but people have made their choices and eventually we all will face the judgment day. Jesus response to ISIS and all those who choose taking the lives of others is a scary thing, but this is what He said to those who are choosing to ignore the decision to believe in Him and change their ways, also from Luke 12:
“Dear friends, don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot do any more to you after that. But I’ll tell you whom to fear. Fear God, who has the power to kill you and then throw you into hell. Yes, He’s the one to fear.”
I believe my primary role as a Christian is mostly to point people towards the steadfast love of God. That which we see in our world today is not God’s will, nor is it for any to suffer final judgment. But we have laid our beds. Point Provers want to dictate their power upon you and I, we can let their words and actions drive us, or we can be driven by God’s love and point the way to Him. Which do you choose? I know which one I have.
“so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life. “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him” John 3:15=17 (NLT version)