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When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” but Jesus turned and rebuked them.

Luke 9:54-55

 

I have been watching and listening to the conduct and behavior of not only my fellow Americans but of people in England and in Mexico — but mostly American politicians and the Hollywood elite.

I would not directly compare any of what I have listened to with biblical individuals themselves, but the connection between the two for me brings to mind several words from our vocabulary that form pictures in my mind.

One such as the word is “jingoism.” This is a word describing an aggressive patriotism that uses threats or actual force as opposed to peaceful relations to safeguard what a nation perceives as its own national interest. 

Another picture phrase that comes to mind is “saber rattling.” It’s basic definition is to have an ostentatious display of military power. On a personal note, I find the word search of the history of this phrase very interesting.

If we reference back to how Jesus responded to his disciples, perhaps we can find guidance for our modern times.

Of course, there is enough poor conduct on both sides with plenty of room for some repentance and amends to go around. 

If we look back on that passage of scripture, we see Jesus rebuked his disciples and went on to the next village.

What I hear is, if you’ll allow me to share, “Go about your business and don’t make it harder than it has to be.” Of course, there’s a more famous quote far better than mine from President Theodore Roosevelt, known as his foreign policy or his Big Stick Diplomacy: “Speak softly and carry a big stick.”

How all this comes together I can’t really say. I do know it’s seldom easy to be a new leader who brings change and discipline. Let us pray for our new leaders regardless of our preferred parties, but for the wellbeing of our whole nation, may we be God-honoring, one nation under God.

 

Maj. Dave Davis ministers with the Salvation Army Kodiak Corps.

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