This last Friday, we had a meeting with a man that has believed, and continues to believe deeply, in changing the world through politics. But in this discussion, there seemed to be a crack in his way of thinking because he started the conversation by saying that the people that he saw politically protesting that day were wasting their time.
“Why do you say that?”, we asked.
“Because they are just out there yelling and no one is listening. If you are going to protest, you need to be specific and you need to get people to listen.”
He went on to talk about how, in the 1970s in our area, people were committing violence to get the politicians to listen. He said that, while he didn’t condone what those people were doing in committing violence, he did understand it because it finally made the politicians listen to what was being said.
We went on to talk about needing true and lasting change, not just a temporary political change – one that goes into effect in one council or one administration and then changes with the next. Is there any way that could be accomplished? Is that even possible?
My other friend explained to this man that this is the nature of the revolution that Jesus started. What Jesus came to re-establish was the kingdom of God, with he himself as King over all. But instead of a kingdom that would have politicians who held up power, greed, or fame as its ideals, this kingdom would bring humility, generosity, and self-sacrifice as its modes of operation.
And so I was reminded of this when I was reading 1 Peter 5 this morning and I came to this section:
In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,
“God opposes the proud
but shows favor to the humble.”
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.1 Peter 5:5-7
Interestingly, I have a situation going on my life at the moment where I have been experiencing anxiety related to a scenario like this one. But I love the reminder that Peter gives here when he says that we must not be proud and instead be humble. Often my pride can rise up and bring me to the point of demanding what I perceive to be my “rights” if I allow it to do this. But instead I need to cast my anxiety upon God in humility and he will make everything go forward in its right timing.
And so I think that this is the answer that our friend, from the beginning of this story, is looking for. If we mutually submitted to the authority of Christ and his ideals, we wouldn’t have scenarios of one person lording over another or one attempting to unjustly gain from another. Instead, we would have true and lasting change. Not change that can be made through politics, but a change that is made through a new and changed heart.