17 Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. 18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
Dear God, who are my role models (referencing verse 17: “keep your eyes on those who live as we do.”)? Do I look to people whose god is their stomach and their glory is in their shame? Am I that kind of role model to others? Is my mind set on earthly things?
Or is my citizenship in heaven? Do I eagerly await Jesus’s return? Do I submit everything I have to his control?
About 30 years ago, Michael Jordan was heavily criticized for not taking some political stands on behalf of disenfranchised black people–especially in his home state. Particularly, he did not endorse what could have been North Carolina’s first black senator against a segregationist named Jesse Helms. His off-the-cuff line to his teammates was, “Republicans buy sneakers, too.” I think I’ve criticized him for not being more politically active over the years. I’ve criticized Tiger Woods as well. They had enough that they could sacrifice a little for the greater good, right? f
Well, I have to look in the mirror and realize that I protect myself and the organization for which I work every bit as much as those two men protect their image and their marketability. I raise money for a nonprofit in a small town, and people from all political perspectives support our clinic. I am quite calculating in how I represent myself publicly. I don’t want anyone to know how I vote, and I am careful about trying to not offend anyone. Yes, my stomach is often my god and I pursue glory to my shame.
Father, you know I’ve been praying through a lot of this lately. I’ve been praying about my responses to the current political and cultural climates. How much do I do publicly? How much do I do behind the scenes? How much do I not do at all? And how will my actions be an example to someone else? So help me. Help me moment by moment. Help me to be one life through which your presence enters the world so that your kingdom might come and your will might be done on earth as it is in heaven.
In Jesus’s name I pray,