In these confusing days of intolerance, judgment, and hate I’m reminded of these words written thousands of years ago:
“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” [Ecclesiastes 1:9]
What stirred this thought process for me was an article on the Fox News Website this morning, click here to read it for yourself. According to Fox News, “Kevin Nicholson is a decorated Marine Corps veteran who served combat tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Following his time in the Marine Corps, he earned a joint degree at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government (Master of Public Administration) and Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business (Master of Business Administration). He then worked for McKinsey & Co., and now works for ghSmart as a business consultant. He is a first-time candidate in the Wisconsin Republican primary for U.S. Senate.” Now here is a man I could get behind and support without question.
Yet, as I read this article, an overwhelming sense of sadness came upon me. What the author of Ecclesiastes wrote is true throughout the ages. Intolerance will be around until the end of time itself, repeating with fervor ever so often, rising again and again to claim its victims. One very famous victim of intolerance had a lot to say about the #walkaway concept.
“God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted. God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth. God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied. God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy. God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God. God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God. God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.” [Matthew 5:3-11]
In His teaching, Jesus went on to talk about hate, anger, revenge and other volatile topics ending with these words…
“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that.” [vs. 43-47]
There comes a time when dealing with intolerant judgers and haters requires a person to just #WalkAway. Jesus said this too. When His disciples were met with ridicule or persecution after preaching the gospel in a given city, Jesus instructed them:
But if any place refuses to welcome you or listen to you, shake its dust from your feet as you leave to show that you have abandoned those people to their fate.
Today’s vernacular would say… #WalkAway
He never said this life would be easy. He never promised we would only walk through rose gardens, and only smell the roses. In fact He said,
“They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”
Today on the front page headlines we find Kevin Nicholson’s story and see these words fulfilled:
The most important thing you can take away from this blog today is this: God’s WORD is absolutely true. There is nothing new that God hasn’t seen, or already said is coming.
So, if you want to find your way in this crazy world, the place to seek your path is in the word of God. It was true then… it’s true still, today.