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By Christian Ponder
Contributing Writer 

Taking Sides

 

Last updated 8/19/2020 at 3:51pm

Trump or Biden? Mask or no mask? Open school or eLearning? Open the economy, or public safety? Work or family? Push through and get it done, or pull back and reflect? Make a splash, or keep a low profile? Prove your point, or stay out of it? Conspiracy theories, or Occam's razor? Grace and mercy, or truth? Ephesians 5:19-21, or Ephesians 5:22-24? Cut the grass, or clean the garage?

Has the pandemic and less physical interaction with people caused you to think that everything is so polarized these days? What stances are worth being known as the hills we will die on? Is it possible that the other option really is not as evil, ill-informed, or a waste of time as we hear? Have I forgotten that not everyone else has the same life experiences as me?

Sometimes we need to just pray, make the best informed choice we can at the time, act, and move on with life, knowing that our choice may not ultimately prove to be right, and will almost certainly not be liked by everyone.

Lord, we need You, today and every day. Lord, give us YOUR wisdom, humility, boldness, and courage to do what you want us to do this day. Lord, may we know when to speak out and when to shut up, in order to preserve our self-respect and to improve our world. Lord, remind all of us to love and obey You, and to love our neighbors. Lord, allow us to hear and know Your whole message for us, not the piece-meal parts we enjoy thinking about. Lord, help those struggling to meet the basic needs of life, in Lake Wales and throughout the U.S. and the world. You have blessed us with so much, even now; may we not forget You.

Lord, we pray for the leaders You have given us at all levels (national, state, local, world, democrats, republicans, or other). Thank you that You remain sovereign, whether we acknowledge it or not. Thank you for your patience with us and that you love us in spite of ourselves. Thank you that there is coming a day when you will make all things right.

Here are two passages to ponder this week:

James 3:13-4:8

Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, "He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us"? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Philippians 4:8

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Christian Ponder has been a resident of Lake Wales since 2001. He enjoys living in Lake Wales with his wife and two children.

 

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