I understand about indecision,
But I don’t care if I get behind.
People living in competition,
All I want is to have my peace of mind.
These are lyrics from Boston’s song “Peace of Mind”. Where has the cooperative spirit gone? Why do people, as Patrick Lencioni puts it, want to maintain personal silos instead of pulling resources together? Why can’t we see that far more could be done with greater peace of mind if we cooperate?
Both sides of the aisle, as we say, need to realize cooperation is the foundation of this country. Both sides of the church need to see this as well. Over the past century we have seen a degradation into welfare mentality and personal kingdom building. The programs established during the Great Depression were seen as life-saving. Those in that time were grateful to have anything. Post WWII saw a subtle change from gratitude to a position that the governmental help had been earned. Instead of ending those programs, they continued. The next generation grew up with an attitude that they deserved this aid. Today we see a growing trend of folks who demand big government to come to their rescue. How did that happen? The subtle shift came over years. We cannot really pinpoint a place and time, but it has happened. It has happened in our churches too.
John said to Him, “Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in Your name, and we tried to stop him because he wasn’t following us.” “Don’t stop him,” said Jesus, “because there is no one who will perform a miracle in My name who can soon afterward speak evil of Me.” Mark 9:38-39
Jesus dealt with this competitive spirit. He drew their attention toward cooperation. Our churches a century ago were delighted to have the traveling preacher a couple of times a month. All were happy to do the work of the church and hear from the preacher. As our culture shifted from cooperation to competition so did our churches. Instead of gratitude, Christians started feeling they had somehow earned God’s favor and began to cheapen grace and goodness. Soon, we began to feel deserving of God special hand of blessing and now we demand it. So similar are we to the political climate! Most, I believe, feel that God works for us. He is our magic genie in the clouds. If we say the right things and do the right motions then He is bound to bless us in the ways we prescribe. It sounds nice, but that concept is not Biblical. Nowhere can you find that we demand of God. He demands of us.
Gratitude – Earned Right – Unearned Right – Demand
This is the flow of our people, nationally and spiritually. Until we choose to return to cooperation and gratitude, we will not have peace of mind.