A thought from years ago has been rolling around my head for weeks now.
While still a student, I recall listening to some teachers discuss the role of government in our society. More specifically, the conversation was about the place of government in influencing a country’s ethics. It was around the time of an election, and the topic of Christians in government was getting attention. In some minds, the thought is simply one like, “If only we had some Christians running our country, then we’d get things straightened out.”
Of course, one is shocked to learn that if a flawlessly moral leader (Christian or otherwise) were ever found, the trouble would then begin:
How would he/she possibly get the rest of the nation to do what was right? No one can make up the minds of others. Right and wrong (even if they could be agreed upon) cannot be legislated or forced upon another free person. There’s simply no loving way to make someone do something. If “Bruce Almighty” taught us anything, it should have taught us that… along with how nasty little monkeys can be.
Back in that discussion, I recall someone taking a stab at defining what the role of government then was in the whole process of “making people good”. They said something like this: “Good government should make it easier for people to do the right thing and more difficult for people to do the wrong thing.”
That thought has been twisting and mutating in my mind lately.
How does it apply to the church?
How does it speak to attempting to lead among God’s people?
We often speak of our very real needs for accountability, encouragement, and challenge to be all that God calls us to be. How might we actually structure our congregations so that it became easier to do what we should and harder to fall short?
How might I build my relationships with others so that their touches on my life have this kind of effect?
How can I personally structure my life to increase my chances at actually becoming what I know God wants me to be and decrease my chances of failure and frustration?
Grittier questions: Do we actually desire that? Or do we just say we do because that’s what we should say?
These thoughts have been brought to you by the Department of Scattered Minds. If you care to join the Department, leave a comment containing your own scattered-but-slightly-connected thoughts.