Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Correction is Coming

Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong.

                        Psalm 37.1

Feeding Frenzy

It’s been a long time since things felt so utterly topsy-turvy. We watch financial markets founder, global politics are riddled with x factors, and here in the US, we’re in the throes of an election that defies prediction or reason. This is the stuff of history, yet its effect on ordinary life is unmistakable. Caring and common sense don’t factor in this feeding frenzy. For example, my partner works at the local affiliate of a TV network that relentlessly contributes to our pervasive thug mentality on a national level. A few days ago, he called with a new instance of how miserably cutthroat, unstable, and disrespectful his workplace culture has got. “It won’t go unchecked,” I told him. “Correction is coming, sooner or later, one way or another.” I suggested he hang “CIC” in block letters nearby as a reminder when he feels beleaguered or undervalued by out-of-control situations and people. Correction is coming. God has pledged this and history bears Him out. CIC.

David’s To-Do List

The grief caused by power abusers is unavoidably real. Yet in Psalm 37, David tells us, “Don’t let malignant people tie you in knots or envy their power,” later adding, “Refrain from anger… do not fret—it leads only to evil.” When we fight back, we upgrade evildoers’ power from influence to authority. We submit to their rules, instead of obey Christ’s law. While they’re up to no good, David lists five things to do: trust God; dwell in Him; enjoy His blessings; delight in Him; and commit to His ways. Then, David says, “He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.” CIC.

How Soon is Soon?

Regarding the bad guys, David likens them to grass, soon to wither away: “A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found.” But how soon is soon? It seems the sun will never set on their heyday. Their unjust grip on the world looks to leave a permanent scar. Sadly for them—gladly for us—their influence is temporary, their authority illusory. It’s our Father’s world. He has the final move. Correction is coming. If not soon enough for some of us, it no doubt will arrive sooner than many others anticipate.

As they toiled, backs aching and whip-scarred, American slaves nourished their faith, singing, “I’m so glad trouble don’t last always. Jesus told me it’ll be over after while.” If the song sounded too good to be true at the time, the faith embedded in it sustained them until freedom finally came. When smarting from backlashes of abusive power and bowing beneath burdens of injustice, take the spiritual to heart. Troubles don’t last always. God has told us they’ll end. CIC.

David says abusers of power soon wither away like grass. Instead of submitting to them, our faith takes flight in knowing they won't last. 

(Tomorrow: Escape Strategy)

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