Hope or Fear?

“When a foreigner lives with you in your land, don’t take advantage of him. Treat the foreigner the same as a native. Love him like one of your own. Remember that you were once foreigners in Egypt. I am God, your God                                                                                                                                                 Leviticus 19:33-34

I am currently reading a book by Jon Meacham, titled, “The Soul of America”, (the battle for our better angels.) He takes us on a journey through American history, visiting some past crises where leadership had choices about leading from fear or from hope.

I resonated to his premise, because as my readers know, I believe that leadership reaching toward a good end is much healthier than leading from a position of reacting to fear, resulting in a need to escape from a supposed enemy.

For example, in the 1920’s, the Ku Klux Klan gained a large membership in the United States, based upon the fear that too many Catholics, Jews, and southern European foreigners were immigrating to America. The result was a significant restriction of immigration based upon fear. That did not work out very well for the soul of our country.

Several interesting aspects of this book arise for me. First, we have been here before. Throughout our history, there have been crises which caused us to overreact, and our system of government has been able, eventually, to weather those crises. Second, we have a tendency to demonize those with whom we have significant differences. If we can dehumanize those who oppose us, or to ascribe Satanic motives to them, it is easier to try to destroy them rather than to interact with them.

So, is Satan alive and well in the world? Unfortunately, yes. Is Satan the motivating force for those with whom we disagree? Probably not. Satan wants us to react in fear- rather, he wants us to overreact in fear.

Perfect love casts out fear. Let’s go with hope when confronted with problems, not reacting in fear and demonizing others.

Prayer: Lord, help us to lean toward hope over fear, Amen

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