Wednesday, November 7, 2012
By the time this issue of this newspaper reaches you, you should either be in the waning moments before the election results or already know who our president is for the next four years. I have learned some lessons from this election.
One is the fact that racism, classism, and a lot of other “isms” are still alive and well in our society. We would like to think that we have grown past that stage as a nation but when we read and hear the things that are being said around us we realize that in these areas we are but a baby as a nation.
Secondly, we have much work to do as a nation. Nation building is more than us increasing our individual net worth. We have to learn to care about each other.
We have much work to do so we can function as one people rather than just saying we are one people. What is positionally true is not necessarily practically true.
Thirdly, I am reminded that compassion, character and righteous living trumps money, power and status anytime. Money, power and status may get all or most of the attention but when we lack compassion, character and righteous living, whether as a nation or as individuals, we will eventually self destruct no matter how many years it takes.
For nations sometimes hundreds of years; for individuals sometimes near or on their deathbed. Triumph now is not necessarily triumph later.
The bible that so many Americans profess to read tells us that, “Righteousness exalteth a nation but sin is a reproach to any people.”
If America was built on Godly principles and we forsake those principles it is inevitable that our building will crumble. Who built America? Money didn’t build America. People did.
Finally, reading through the book of Amos I was struck by the fact that when Amos warned Israel about its demise because of sinfulness, especially as it relates to the way they treated each other with emphasis on the poor, Israel was experiencing great economic prosperity. Who in their right mind would listen to a prophet of doom in such thriving times?
Warn America of its sins and the way it treats the poor, needy, distressed, the alien and other disenfranchised groups, and people will rise up against you in national indignation and begin to preach how great and wonderful America is. But what I say or others say is not what counts.
It is God, the one in whom we say we trust, who executes sentence.
While we strive for economic prosperity let us mix in some compassion, character and righteous living.
The Rev. Valentine Williams is the Pastor of Transforming Life Center Church in Pineville, a motivational speaker, seminar/workshop leader, personal development coach, adjunct instructor and the author of Youth Empowered to Succeed. He is also the president of Williams Speaking and Training Services, a people development organization that conducts professional and personal development training and staff development workshops. For questions, comments or speaking engagements contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.