From the Pastor
Barrack Obama gave a speech recently to young people. Three things struck me about his speech.
First, he told young people to get over the idea that one can be pure and uncompromised. The world is messy, contains ambiguities and good people have flaws. How refreshing is it to hear that.
Second, he observed that young people believe and act as if criticizing others for not doing the right thing or not saying the politically correct thing will bring about change. Throwing stones is easy. Activism requires that you actually go out and do something real, something concrete, something that enacts change.
Third, in the process, he looked eminently statesman like. He was eloquent, thoughtful, insightful and recognized nuance. These are virtues lacking in some current world leaders.
Social media facilitates a culture where we are quick to point the finger at others, and somehow feel good about ourselves for having done so, this trend is nothing new.
Miriam and Aaron oppose Moses and talk against him. Absalom undermines David with words at the city gate. Jesus has a reputation for being a glutton, drunkard, and a friend of tax collectors and sinners, half true at best. Finding blame in others somehow makes us feel superior. But as Obama points out: “..seeing fault in others is neither difficult, nor transformational”.
I sometimes find myself in conversations where everyone is having a whinge. The government should do this, banks should not do that, the leadership has got this wrong. Maybe, but hey, good people make mistakes.
In such conversations the temptation is to add another tale of how someone else has got something wrong. Instead, ask yourself (or others) “What can I do to enact positive change?