Some of the most freeing verses in the Bible speak of living for a better country, having our conversation/citizenship in heaven, setting affections on things above, and putting our treasure in heavenly places.
These ideas are all over the Bible. The Book of Ecclesiastes has no other theme.
These verses speak of true freedom and liberation from all that entangles people. You cannot break away from sin unless you reject conformity to the world. You cannot overcome by faith if you are walking by sight.
Although this concept is stated in so many ways on so many pages of Holy Writ, and even though so much freedom and peace is promised for those who obey, we sure seem to hate it.
At every opportunity we chuck this concept and go back to minding things of this earth and living for this country.
I’m amazed at how many Christians are upset over NFL anthem protests. Except I’m not, because this is what we always do.
We pay lip-service to Biblical Truth, but when the next earthly distraction comes along (elections, boycotts, protests, presidential tweets, etc.), we’re fighting for our things in this world.
The only way protests would upset you is if your treasure was on earth.
The only way elections would rile you up is if you were minding earthly things.
Boycotts are not only having a problem with an earthly institution, but also using an earthly means to make the point!
I would not kneel during the anthem, but I also wouldn’t get upset if someone did. The anthem is a song (and not a very good one either). It’s about a hunk of land organized by some people.
None of this is eternal.
Yet Christians are taking a stand (no pun intended) on one side or the other about an anthem in a football game.
We’re letting our particular point of contention (politics in football, trampling the flag, disrespecting veterans, etc) trump our concern for individual souls.
Why do we take stands on general issues that will put up hurdles to the Gospel? The Gospel is hard enough for people to like, why do we insist upon making it harder?
If you have to be upset, be upset in the quiet of your own home. Don’t go public with your tirades. It’s not coming across well.
If you’re concerned about the treatment of veterans, then go help them. If you’re concerned about the treatment of blacks, then go help them. Outrage is the lazy person’s uniform.
For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
If seeing someone kneel during a song gets you upset, you may want to get some of that peace that passes understanding.
It’s peace because it guards your heart. It keeps you thinking on what is good and right and eternal. The more you think on what is good and right and eternal, the more your heart is guarded, and the more peace you have.
(A possible side bonus is that you will actually start caring about things that actually matter, like the spiritual condition of your own family and church.)
Want peace? Want release from the bondage to anger and worry?
Then let go of this world and lay hold on eternal life.