The Fence Test

...and look to heaven.

There's a simplistic comparison below by Jeff Foxworthy that would be fun just to pass on and have a laugh at the expense of others. But being a man, I like to fix things. And being a man, my fixes sometimes make matters worse. Humbling. In humility, let's try to fix our sight on a higher perspective to approach an issue that divides us where we should be looking for ways to unite and work together.

We would do well to remember that the fundamental issues that divide pre-exist the Republican and Democratic parties. Granted, we have been conditioned to believe that the problems and solutions are political. If you were a politician willing to manipulate voters to gain personal power, wouldn't you want everyone to think that the other party creates the problems and your party has the solutions? The truth is there are responsible Democrats just as there are irresponsible Republicans. This is a bigger issue than the party politics that foment and exploit our differences.

Human nature will create enough problems without any help from government. Anyone that still thinks government can deliver a utopian solution has evidently elevated government to be their higher power. Did government create you? Does government create wealth? Did government create anything? I would rather reserve the place of higher power to the Highest Power. Yes, that's a matter of my personal belief system. What I see I believe in. I see God in nature as well as in the products of man's ingenuity. Another sees just trees and buildings and says, "So what."

"Belief in a Creator as the Highest Power provokes a peculiar way of thinking. When some basic need is lacking -- time, energy, money -- the follower of Christ is to consider himself blessed. Their very lack is an opportunity to latch onto the Creator/Savior in unashamed dependence. When genuinely humbled by our own lack, coming alongside others to meet their needs becomes much more appealing. When you begin your day with inadequate resources, you must concentrate your efforts on the present moment. This is where we are meant to live -- in the present; it is the place where He always awaits us. Awareness of our inadequacy is a rich blessing, training us to rely wholeheartedly on a loving God who has committed to meet all of our needs. The truth is that self-sufficiency is a myth perpetuated by pride and temporary success. Health and wealth can disappear instantly, as can life itself." -- Jesus Calling

James the brother of Jesus wrote, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways" (James 1:2-5).

James' teaching reaches much deeper than a quick quote and a glance can do justice. Double minded is a phrase likely coined by James. It refers to a soul condition of unbelief, a person with a split personality whose heart's loyalties are divided. That's a person who has not decided which god to give their love to. Doubt then is a vacillation between self-reliance and God-reliance. This person is not looking to God from a stance of faith, and for this person there is no promise that God will give wisdom.

Randy Alcorn described the false god of materialism in his book Managing God's Money. "God created us to love people and use things, but materialists love things and use people. Products are marketed to "consumers" without regard for the fact that they may become addicted, depressed, obese, or diseased -- taking years off their lives -- as a result of consuming those products. Materialism drives not just the "bad apples" of society; it drives "the best and the brightest," those from the finest homes and schools, those who become government and business leaders, physicians, and attorneys."

Conservatives, libertarians and liberals alike can be raised up to maturity and take responsibility for their own actions. We all need help, but not from a political system that exploits our deficiencies. We need personalized help from each other, where forgiveness and accountability are part of the equation. Burdens need to be shared because we see a need and have a free hand. If we don't do our part and reject the God of heaven, we land up with a big fat government robbing our purse and forcing our hand at gunpoint.

With this information at hand, let's try reading Jeff Foxworthy's piece in the light of understanding. Rather than reacting and pointing fingers or laughing at others expense, why not consider ourselves and ask which god we serve, and why. Then perhaps we can laugh together with humility.

You can't get any more accurate than this! This is straight forward country thinking.. by Jeff Foxworthy

Which side of the fence? If you ever wondered which side of the fence you sit on, this is a great test! If a Republican doesn't like guns, he doesn't buy one. If a Democrat doesn't like guns, he wants all guns outlawed. If a Republican is a vegetarian, he doesn't eat meat. If a Democrat is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone. If a Republican is homosexual, he quietly leads his life. If a Democrat is homosexual, he demands legislated respect. If a Republican is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation. If a Democrat is down-and-out he wonders who is going to take care of him. If a Republican doesn't like a talk show host, he switches channels. A Democrat demands that those they don't like be shut down. If a Republican is a non-believer, he doesn't go to church. A Democrat non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced. If a Republican decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it. If a Democrat decides he needs health care, he demands that the rest of us pay for his. If a Republican reads this, he'll forward it so his friends can have a good laugh. A Democrat will delete it because he's "offended".

Well, I forwarded it.

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