Psalm One Ministries
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
Been praying a lot lately. I find myself driven to my knees by recent tragedies, world issues, political ideologies, social constructs, and theological splits. Important issues, overwhelming challenges. Seismic shifts in policy and opinion are changing so rapidly it makes my head spin. I cannot recall a time when I’ve seen more splintering in the church.
I’ve seen some truly amazing demonstrations of love and unity among God’s people. I have friends who work for international solutions and relief from suffering around the world. I have friends who connect with those of different viewpoints for fruitful dialogue and mutual brainstorming. My theologian friends wrestle with passages of Scripture, sometimes agreeing to disagree, but still respecting their brothers and sisters who might see things differently.
There’s a temptation to swing the pendulum to one side or the other. We can abandon all truth and accept anything and everything the world has to offer. Or we can use the Bible as a weapon. Sometimes believers fight one another, a dueling stance one of my mentors calls “lexicons at 100 yards”. Sometimes we rail at the world, demanding regenerate behavior from unregenerate people. I cringe when I see Christians posting hateful insults online toward those with whom they disagree.
In the Farewell Discourse, Jesus’ final words before his ultimate sacrifice are about glorifying God on earth through our love and unity. He speaks of us being in the world, but not of the world. His prayer is that we would be one, even as the Father and Son are one:
"The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.” (John 17:22-23)
1 John speaks about holding together love and truth. Not love or truth. Ephesians challenges us to speak the truth in love. Not choosing one or the other. We don’t have to agree in order to love. We don’t have to hate in order to disagree. We don’t have to throw out the truth in order to please people. Rick Warren has expressed it so well:
“Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.”
I certainly don’t have all the answers. I have definitely not perfected the proper strategy in all situations. I open my mouth and insert my foot on a regular basis. How are we to be in the world, but not of it? How should we respond to the evening news? It’s hard to hold love and truth together. It’s hard to maintain love and unity.
Beloved, when it all gets too much, when grief threatens my peace, when I don’t have any answers, I run to the cornerstone (Matthew 21:42), rock, fortress, stronghold (Psalm 62). To the only wise God (Romans 16:27), the way, and the truth, and the life (John 14:6), because in Him all things hold together (Colossians 1:17).
Hear my cry, O God;