You Gotta Keep Them Separated

Despite my little nod to The Offspring with the name to this post, the subject matter for today has little to do with their song- in fact, I don’t remember much of the lyrics.  I just felt that title aptly fits what has been on my mind today.

I am deeply disturbed by the political climate in our country- well, truthfully, I guess the climate in general bothers me-socially, economically, yeah, all of it.

Political-The fact that those who are supposed to represent the average American don’t really have a clue what’s important to us, and they don’t really care either.  For them, it is about pandering to groups who can make them money or secure them a position or hook them up with some kickbacks.  It doesn’t even matter what the majority of the American people want- the govt. just does whatever they want-even if it’s against our will.  We are treated like an ignorant child that doesn’t know what’s best and therefore needs someone much older and wiser to make decisions for us.

Social-People claim to be really passionate about an issue but when you follow the money, suddenly you are not so sure what their true motives are.

Economically– We now have a large number of people in our country who believe that if you have a lot of money then that automatically means that you need to share it with people who have less money- whether they “deserve” it or not- they are “entitled” to it.

Now, before you start making assumptions about my political leanings- let me say this- I believe this has been true of politicians and our presidents for decades- I am not blaming the current administration and I am not blaming the politicians.  Though, I am angry that their own greed supersedes doing the job that they were elected to perform.  And I believe we have been on a downward spiral concerning out economic and social climate as well- things are just more pronounced now- so more people are beginning to take notice.

I think there is a polarization that has begun among the American people.  It is becoming more pronounced due to a little thing called confirmation bias.

To see the full post on Wikipedia, click here.

Confirmation bias is basically focusing on information that confirms your own beliefs or favoring information that makes your side look right and the other side look wrong.  And of course, this effect worsens when the issues are emotionally charged, or people are very passionate concerning the issue, or they are foundational beliefs that a person holds.

Another interesting bias to note is belief perseverance, where we refuse to see the evidence that refutes our belief system and continue blindly following it (or the people we feel represent it) without recognizing that we are being lied to or manipulated.

How does one find the truth?  How do we handle our anger and frustration at others who refuse to see the truth that we believe and won’t come to “our side” or “the right side” of the issue?

For me personally, when I feel distressed by the current hate that people have for each other- when I see people coveting other people’s wealth, when I see friendships destroyed over political/social issues- I turn to God.

I test all that I hear against Scripture and pray that God will show me the truth.  These are some verses that have been helpful to me.

Ephesians 6:7-8

 7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, 8 because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.

Or in other words, I am to do the work the Lord has for me whether it pleases the people around me or not, despite my circumstances- whether I am doing a job that I love and really want to do- or working in a very humble profession that receives little respect or notice.

Exodus 20:16-17 (This is the chapter where you can find the 10 Commandments)

16“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

Wow, there’s a whole lot of that going on right now.  Lots of lying, and lots of envying what our neighbors have- their nice car, their big house, their vacations, etc.  And we lie to get ahead, to look better than someone else- well, just avoiding responsibility for our own actions and choices- and then laying the blame on someone else instead of accepting the consequences.

I am going to share something now, about my husband and I.  We sacrificed a lot financially when I quit working to stay home with our kids.  Our first house that we bought cost 60,000.  It was a very old house that needed a lot of work- it wasn’t in the best neighborhood, in fact, it was not even where we really wanted to live- but we couldn’t afford anything nicer.

We have many friends that live on double or triple our income.  It would be easy for us to envy them, to be jealous of their vacations (which we can’t afford), eating out at restaurants (which we rarely do), and nice cars and houses.  But I could go back to work.  I could work two jobs, my hubby could work two jobs, and we could have a really nice house and car and vacations- all that stuff.  But I would never see my children.  We made a choice.  We all make choices every day that have consequences.  And we have to live with how that affects us and the people around us- and it speaks to what we value.

This post is getting rather long- so I will conclude this discussion with a second post.

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