Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
I clicked the like button on a Facebook post the other day but my stomach lurched afterward. I even debated unliking it. Why? Because the post was pretty controversial. A hot topic. And mostly, the post would be considered politically incorrect by a good number of people.
But the fact is, whether PC or not, I agreed with what was said. And yet, I hesitated. Questioned my allegiance in the face of the public.
I’m glad to report I didn’t unlike it. More, I “liked” another controversial post a day or two later. And to me, this is progress. Because though it may be only a “like” on social media, I believe choosing like/love/angry/etc. is a way we can use our voices. It’s how we can speak up and out.
And those who know me best know this is the very thing I shied away from as a child into young adulthood. Even into my thirties. I never wanted to speak my opinion for fear of the response it might garner. And today I know this is my final frontier…
The last hurdle in my spiritual journey.
May God give me the courage to stand up for what I believe in, even if it’s met with great disapproval, dislike or even hate. Everything I avoided most of my life.
You will know the truth and the truth will set you free. John 8:32
I returned to my hometown nearly ten years ago. I knew it was going to happen, though, as God made a promise through Jeremiah 29:14. But back then, I failed to notice the full passage of Scripture was directed to a people in captivity.
And ten years ago, I was, too. I just didn’t know it.
When God said I’ll bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive, I had no idea I’d been captured by so many things. And like an onion, each layer of bondage was removed one by one. Year by year…
I was a captive. Held back by the negative words spoken over me and rejections of my youth. I was prisoner to a broken heart, which led to empty religion, busyness, and glory-seeking, all to prove my worth.
At the heart of it all, there was fear. I feared people and their response. I always wondered if they’d receive me, how they’d view and judge me, and it mattered a lot.
This is the thing that kept me silent all my growing years (by that, I mean till now). I never had an original thought, always adopting the view of others as my own. Because if I took on their thoughts, then I would be accepted. I would fit their mold. Thus, I was captured by the world’s view and made it my own early on.
Alas, the world’s view no longer fit once I became a Christian. And yet, I remained silent on so many major points. But a friend’s recent question caused me to contemplate my shut mouth. Does silence imply to others that you agree with what they say? I’d have to say it does.
Indeed, I’ve been part of the silent majority but now, media assures me that majority no longer exists. Perhaps this is what compels me to speak out now about a subject I prefer to avoid altogether…
One of the most divisive topics in our land.
As a young woman, I would have cast my vote for the democratic ticket because that’s what my peers would have done. But honestly, I never did. Without a care in the world, I was much too shallow for voting. Thus, I left elections to everyone else. I was content to let others decide for me, which was the pattern of my youth.
After becoming a Christian at twenty-four, I would have leaned right. Again, because of my peers but again, I didn’t. Not at first. Still too shallow and still too happy to let others make those decisions. But that disinterest changed in latter years and since then, I have participated in a few elections.
If you asked me why I voted Republican in 2016, I wouldn’t have been able to clearly state why. Simply, I went with the flow and back then, I flowed red, Baptist, and conservative. Those were my reasons.
Fortunately, though, God helped me this past week to formulate my defense. Through Scripture, He laid it all out as to why I, a Christian woman, lean to the right. There’s no longer any doubt or question. And for that, I’m thankful.
I’m grateful to God that through the guidance of His word, I have finally formed my own opinions and beliefs as to why I vote the way I do. And it has nothing to do with what anyone else thinks.
No, these reasons are all mine.
Your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it.” Whenever you turn to the right or left. Isaiah 30:21
The above verse made me smile the other day because I couldn’t help seeing it through a political lens. The right or left. Which one? Which is the right way to go…
I suppose I could go super literal and cite the definitions as my reasons. See, the right comes from a word meaning to the right hand or side, the implication being stronger or more dexterous. Right means to turn to the right.
Interestingly, one definition for left means to turn (aside) to the left (fig). And anyone who studies Scripture knows turning aside is not always a good thing. Further, left comes from a word with the idea of wrapping up, dark, as enveloped.
And this brings me to the meat of why. Because within this definition, I see captivity. And because I believe freedom is the American way, I lean right. I believe voting Republican is voting for freedom. Just as I believe extreme leftism will lead us to the dark, enveloped space of captivity.
I turn right because God recently freed me from all my stuff. And the last thing I want to do is go back into captivity.
He has sent me… to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners. A portion of Isaiah 61:1
As a Christian, Jesus is my compass. He is the direction I travel, and His words guide me. But for a long time, I questioned the above verse, my journals peppered with, “Proclaim freedom, but first I must be free! But be free from what?” For so long, I just didn’t know what held me.
Today, though, I realize the last bar on my cage has to do with speaking out. It’s the chain that’s held me tightest because it’s what I’ve feared the most. My words and the response. But God brought me to this point – He’s calling me to be courageous in what I say and what I believe – because if too many of us remain silent, we may lose this freedom of speech altogether.
No more will we be able to echo Jesus’ words, proclaiming liberty to the captives, because we may not have any freedoms.
So this is it. The final bar. Unleashing my mind and thinking without restraint upon the public. Because for me, the ultimate freedom is thinking and believing for myself, and acting on and speaking those beliefs. Because I never had any of my own before.
In truth, over time, God released me from everyone else’s thoughts and opinions so He could train me to think for myself. It was quite a process.
But you know, it seems as though the left would stamp out this newfound freedom of mine. From what I witness on news, social media feeds, etc., any thought, act, or speech not in line with the extreme left’s narrative is considered to be racist, bigoted, selfish or hateful. Those who dare speak out against their ideas and beliefs are shamed, ridiculed, heckled, condemned or blocked.
And yet, tolerance is called for by the left. Hypocrisy in that conservatives are expected to tolerate their every action and word, but it’s not reciprocated.
The left draws the line and the right is expected to toe it. When property is destroyed and the streets are filled with rioters, lawlessness is applauded. And yet, people congregating in a church is frowned upon. Churchgoers tagged as selfish while destructive behavior touted as brave.
Please tell me how a street congested with yelling people is any different than a church filled with singing people? Why is one encouraged (ignoring a pandemic) while the other is told no (in the name of the virus)?
In my opinion, it’s because the left approves of one, but not the other. Leftists deem and decide, and their way goes. Those deemed special are allowed huge funerals with packed pews, while limitations are placed on others. A mayor who appears on TV is allowed to keep hair appointments while regular salons are shut down to the regular folk. Commoners.
The left elitists assume they know what’s right and do everything they can to impose their rightness onto others. Even if it means silencing people who disagree.
Thus, I lean right.
Because the right, even when they disagree with another’s politics, doesn’t try to silence those who hold different beliefs.
Give me a willing spirit. Psalm 51:12
The word willing surprised me in the above verse. It means inclined, noble, generous, voluntary, prince, willing hearted, noble one, free, and liberal.
Liberal being linked to this verse gave me a moment’s pause. Because David, who had a heart like God, asked for that very thing, “Give me a willing spirit”. Could liberal be substituted, I wondered. And if so, what does that mean?
My conclusion is that being liberal spirited is a good thing. And somewhere within the left agenda, I believe there is that goodness. I know there are well-meaning people, very left-leaning, who fight for their cause. They mean it when they shout, “Food for all. Houses for all. Healthcare for all. Education for all.”
But, all for free. No one but the ever-increasing government having to pay for it all. Big government. The problem with that is nothing is free. Which leads me to another reason I lean right…
Free everything for the masses means higher taxes for those who work (check out socialist countries and their programs). The answer would be to take from those who have and give to those who don’t. Or won’t.
I’m not talking about people who are incapable of working, for there are many. I’m talking about people who choose not to work. There’s just as many. And the left wants to pay for those who won’t…
The left wants to liberally dip into working-class pockets and give without restraint to people who feel entitled to money that’s not theirs. And this makes for a huge gap between the liberal and conservative agendas.
Thanks to Wikipedia, I gleaned some insight as to the differences…
Liberals are more likely to be secular, single, and in possession of a college degree while less likely to own a gun. Conservatives tend to be more religious, married, employed and own firearms.
The liberal is open to new behavior or opinions, willing to discard traditional values, and is concerned mainly with broadening a person’s general knowledge and experience, rather than with technical or professional training.
Finally, liberal comes from the Latin word liberalis, from liber “free (man).” It’s tied to being a gentleman (not tied to a trade), surviving in liberal arts.
I note there’s a link between liberals and nobility. The gentrified man more apt to education. And now, modern day liberals feel everyone is entitled to further education. For free. Because it ties in with broadening one’s knowledge and experience, which is their concern.
This is what the younger generation feeds on, thus a large portion of young adults feel entitled to further education with less emphasis on technical or professional training. And why? Because the government should provide the means to learn.
But conservatives are more concerned about jobs. Conservatives believe you should work for what you have. That’s the American Dream. Working hard is how you get ahead.
However, the American Dream is not part of the left’s agenda because they no longer believe in that America. That America is bad and racist and doesn’t allow for equity. The new dream is for everyone to be equal and to have a fair share, regardless of how hard – or little – you work.
But I don’t think that’s biblical because God’s word commands us to work.
However, these religious traditions we’re commanded to hold to, and conservatives do, are the very ones so easily discarded by liberals (2 Thess 2:15). Bibles burned in the streets along with flags and pig heads because the extreme left deems these items to be offensive and hurtful.
Bibles bad. American Flag bad. Pigs (aka police) bad.
So they burn it all to the ground.
The thief (who has become a believer) must no longer steal, but instead he must work hard (making an honest living) producing that which is good with his own hands, so that he will have something to share with those in need. Ephesians 4:28
I could share verse after verse about how we should live and work. To start, there’s Jesus who said in the fifth chapter of John, “My Father has been working until now (He has never ceased) and I too am working.”
Working. It means to labour, do work, to trade, to make gains by trading, “do business,” to work for, earn by working.
Over and over, we’re exhorted to this particular work. 1 Thess 4:11-12 says we’re to live quietly and peacefully, minding our own business, working with our own hands so we will behave properly toward those on the outside and so we’ll be dependent on no one, in need of nothing.
1 Corinthians 4:11-12 describes how the apostle Paul worked for living, working hard with his own hands. He told followers to imitate him. 2 Thess 3 gives further examples. Paul was not idle and lazy. He didn’t eat anyone’s bread but paid for it with labour and hardship, working night and day. He said, “if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not willing to eat, either.”
We’re supposed to work for what we have and when we’re working, we’re not idle. Because idle hands lead to meddling in and the destruction of other people’s businesses, as we’ve witnessed over the past couple of months.
Because of the virus, everything shut down and people were mandated to stay home. While receiving government benefits, particular people ran amok despite mandates while wreaking havoc on cities. Pure devastation ensued.
Not living a quiet life and not minding their own business because circumstances have made it such they don’t have to. And yet, the extreme left wants to pour more funds into these cities destroyed by their own followers. Money the working class will eventually have to pay out in exorbitant taxes.
And the hypocrisy of it all is that particular democratic mayors allowed it all to happen. Encouraged it. Even asked for defunded police officers to be more of a presence at their homes when rioters graced their own doorsteps. And now, they want Americans to pay for what they condoned and praised.
Another reason I lean right.
But a noble person plans noble things. He stands up for noble causes. Isaiah 32:8
David asked God for a willing spirit, the word we know to mean liberal and noble. It’s the same word in the verse above. A liberal person plans liberal things. And in this particular verse, it’s good.
But if you were to read Isaiah chapters 30 – 32, you’ll see words of warning throughout. God warned Israel about making an alliance and taking shelter in the shadow of Egypt, Egypt being a place of slavery to God’s people. They were captives there until He delivered them. And yet years later, they wanted to return there for help. They needed assistance.
God told them Egypt couldn’t help nor benefit them, but they refused His word. Instead, they trusted in oppression and guile, relying on them. Interestingly, rely means to lean on, trust in for support.
As such, due to their misplaced trust, the nation’s collapse was imminent. However, God still offered salvation. “In returning (to Me) and rest you shall be saved. In quietness and confident trust is your strength.”
Trusting God was their way out…
But Israel was not willing. They didn’t have the same spirit as David and decided to flee from God’s words, in hope of strengthening themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, who was the head of Egypt.
In a sense, Pharaoh was the government.
Because of Israel’s errant ways, God fed them the bread of adversity and the water of oppression (narrowness, tight, straits, distress). But He continued to offer Himself as the answer. He said He would no longer hide, and their ears would hear a voice behind, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever they turned to the right or to the left.
Israel continually refused. In choosing Egypt, they chose big government. They trusted in horses and chariots instead of God. And this is key… horses and chariots were tangible. They represented strength and power and numbers. This was something Israel could grab hold of thus, it’s where their trust was placed.
Their motto could have been, “In Pharaoh we trust.”
Today we have the left and the protection it offers. Leftists cry out, “Come take shelter in the shadow of our party. Strengthen yourselves in the strength of something tangible you can grab hold of… like a program or a benefit or welfare. Even if you’re capable of working, you’re eligible…”
No doubt, their voice is louder than Jesus’ quiet one. And yet, they steal His words from Matthew 11:28-29…
“Come to me, all you who labor and work hard. Take my yoke, the yoke of bigger government, upon you, and I will give you rest.” Rest, meaning to cause or permit one to cease from any movement or labor. To collect one’s strength, to keep quiet, of calm and patient expectation.
Only, the people’s patient expectation rests on the left and their promises of more funds. It’s no longer “In God we trust.” No, the motto of our land becomes, “In Left we trust.”
And this has to be the biggest reason I lean right. Because I trust in God, not the government. And in my opinion, the smaller the government and the less its involvement, the better.
However, the left pushes for more involvement. More governing. And in a sense, they put their party (and bigger government) in the place of God. They play God and the people bow down to their commands.
This is what I observe. The people willfully eat the daily manna doled out by extreme leftists. They don’t realize what’s offered is simply a handout, not a leg up. They don’t realize the benefits are designed to keep them where they are, so they’ll have to come back for more. Entirely dependent on a system designed to enslave them.
In Left we trust, indeed.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will remain secure and rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress. My God in whom I trust.” Psalm 91:1
Oprah Winfrey said we should use whatever platform we have to speak out. As such, she didn’t grace the cover of her magazine for the first time. Instead, Breonna Taylor’s picture did.
Her remark gave me pause. See, we all have platforms in our lives. Social media and tweets and blogs and whatnot. And I realized I’ve been pretty silent on this particular issue. The political arena is not one I willingly enter.
However, I don’t know how much time I have left to speak my mind and opinion. The one I so recently discovered inside me. The one I so willingly hid, being part of that silent majority that may no longer exist.
Today, though, I choose to be silent no more. I raise my voice in support of the party I choose no matter what insults are hurled my way. Oh, I’ve seen them directed at other people and I avoided them. Because who wants to be called an idiot, or stupid, or a fool, or a deplorable, or a racist.
But since God gave me a willing spirit, I decided to share the reasons why I lean as I do. Even if this writing is for no one else but me and my peace of mind, at least I have clarity on why I choose to go this way.
I know why I lean right.
And that’s more than I ever knew before.
Uphold me with thy free spirit. Psalm 51:12
Acts 4:13 inspires me. It tells of disciples who’d been with Jesus and their courage. The word means outspokenness, frankness, freedom in speaking, unreservedness in speech, without concealment.
I am inspired by people who do that…
Courageous men and women who speak out without fear of repercussions. As I stated earlier, I always avoided the hot topics that required such courage. But see, I believe our freedom of speech is in jeopardy. I don’t know how much longer we’ll be able to freely speak.
And when it comes down to it, if the left gets their way, I don’t know that we’ll have the opportunity to do much of anything at all freely. Especially if it’s something that doesn’t line up with their agenda…
Despite our vast differences, though, I must say the left and I have one thing in common. It has to do with giving. And that word used in Psalm 51:12 gives insight as to how God calls us to give, which is willingly. And yes, liberally.
This is where I, a conservative, find common ground with the left. However, my way is different than theirs.
See, I think it comes down to me and God. He’s the One who gives willing spirits. And to me, it feels like the left wants to force that willingness by taking more from me than it should. More, they want to designate where the extra will go, even if it’s to programs I disagree with. Things that don’t align with my beliefs.
But see, God is the Giver of all things. He gives people the desire… a willingness to give. But it’s individual and unique to us all. And if the extreme left succeeds with its agenda, I think even that privilege will be taken from me…
The freedom to give how I want, when I want, and to whom I want.
No doubt this is yet another reason I lean right. For this reason, the others I’ve mentioned, and for some I have not. But I find a common thread runs through the heart of each…
It’s liberty that connects every reason why I lean right.
Thus, to simplify, liberty is why I vote the way I do. I turn to the right because I think it’s the way I should go. And if I listen closely, I can’t help but think I hear a voice behind my ear. It says…
“This is the way, daughter, walk in it.”
Thus, I do. Because the direction I take leads to freedom. Every kind you can think of.
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1