Saturday, August 04, 2007

Living Generously

It's tough running for President. Every action and word (spoken or unspoken) is scrutinized by people searching for even the slightest opportunity to slam you. [Consider John Edwards' demands that other Democratic candidates return $ from Rupert Murdoch's organizations, with the almost immediate reaction in the media about his earning $800K from that organization who is the parent company of his book publisher.]

People who study our conversations say that most of us spend a large amount of our speech trying to explain what we've already said.

We judge others by their actions/words (which we experience and interpret, however poorly), and ourselves by our intentions.

Several things come to mind as a ponder this situation.

First, it's good to scrutinize presidential candidates. It's a huge, challenging, important role. I think our process is cruel and exhausting, but does eliminate some men and women who are not qualified.

Second, our Lord is not fooled. He knows not only every word and deed, but even our motivations. He knows we are weak, and loves us generously anyway.

Third, how we use our freedom is important: "You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other." (Galatians 5:13-15)

I'm touched by God's commands for us to live generously with others, as He has been generous with us. (See Matthew 5:48 and Matthew 10:5, for example) Do we call out lies and hypocrisy? Yes, because we help one another, and as a city/state/nation/world we take stands against evil. But living generously means doing this is a way that does not intend to destroy a person, even a presidential candidate.

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