What’s the problem with our country? If you were to conduct a survey you might get answers such as the economy, the housing market, or jobs. Yet while all of these are significant concerns for our nation, every problem we currently face is contributed to and exacerbated by an absence of the Biblical sense of duty and self-sacrifice.
“Which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 1:20)
The reason God the Father raised Christ “from the dead and seated Him at His right hand [a position of power and influence] in the heavenly places far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come” (Ephesians 1:20-21) is because Jesus, “being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him…” (Philippians 2:6-9) Jesus humbled Himself and selflessly offered Himself up for our salvation, and in doing so exemplified not only a perfect example of obedience to the Father, but also a pattern of denial of self for the benefit of others. It is this selfless living which Christ commands us to follow and which our forefathers understood, and it is its absence in many of our lives individually and in our national consciousness that has contributed to the problems we face today.
Previous generations understood this idea well, because it is a Christian concept. Our lives are not ours to be spent as we see fit, because we “are not…[our] own…for [we]…were bought at a price” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)—the lifeblood of the only begotten Son of God. We belong to God, and as such, we are under obligation—we have a duty—to Him. This duty involves many things, foremost of which is to tell everyone about the forgiveness we have in Christ, but it also involves loving others. Philippians 2:4 teaches us, “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
If we were truly looking out for the interests of others, there would be no Ponzi schemes. There would be no speculative financial vehicles seeking to gain off the losses of others instead of the genuine productive value of companies, and the banking industry would not have financed people who really couldn’t afford the homes they were buying. Companies would consider the well-being of their employees before outsourcing or relocating, and employees would keep on top of new technology to meet their employer’s current needs. Our nation would be so different!
Former President Kennedy understood this principle when he advised, “Seek not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” These days, most of us are merely looking out for ourselves. Even the federal budgetary issues reflect our current mindset—that of just get through today without any real thought of what’s waiting tomorrow.
Duty to God and to others and self-sacrifice for a better tomorrow for both ourselves and our children are a vehicle through which God blessed this country in the past and allowed it to become strong. Obedience to the precepts of God and blessing are linked in Scripture because those who obey God must first know His Word, and knowing His Word gives wisdom. It is imperative that we return to a Biblical mindset if we are to recover and retain God’s blessing.
God promised the nation of Israel in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” Would He not do the same for us?
Help us to repent of our concern for ourselves only. Help us to turn back to You individually and as a people that You may give us the blessing of wisdom and heal our land! Amen.