Dr. Rexella Van Impe
Seeing America without Rose-Colored Glasses
Seeing America without Rose-Colored Glasses
Not long ago Dr. Van Impe and I were having dinner in a little restaurant near our home. As we were eating, a friend of ours came in with her little granddaughter for their evening meal.
The little girl ran up to me and exclaimed, "Oh, Mrs. Van Impe, see my new sunglasses! They make everything look so pretty."
I had to smile at her childish exuberance. And after our darling little friend went with her grandmother to their own table, I exclaimed to my husband, "No wonder everything appears so pretty to her -- she's looking through rose-colored glasses!"
Each year we celebrate the birth of the United States and our nation's independence. As we gratefully consider the blessings and benefits of living in our great land, it's easy to allow our view of America to be colored just a bit too rosy.
Having traveled in 50 countries around the world, I must say that each time I return to my beloved homeland I am tempted to look at America through rose-colored glasses. At times I've actually had to restrain myself from running from the plane and kissing the ground, as I thanked God for America.
But I recognize that my country has some alarming faults and problems. While the United States may seem to be in great shape when compared to all the other countries in the world, when we measure ourselves against God's standard there is much cause for concern.
It seems to me there has been too much compromising -- too much relaxation among all our citizens.
We've relaxed our attitude toward hard work and doing our best. We've lowered our standards of excellence and discarded our pride of accomplishment.
Do you ever feel that American workers are more interested in time off and leisure activities than in the quantity and quality of the work they do? Someone has said the prevailing attitude now seems to be, "Don't put yourself out -- that's good enough."
And while most Americans are still generous and helpful to people suffering need or calamity, there is a growing tendency to look the other way and say, "It's none of my business" or "I don't want to get involved."
I'm also concerned that our society -- in the name of tolerance and individual liberty -- has stood by and let our community standards of decency, morality, and ethics be trampled underfoot by vulgar, unscrupulous, and dishonest men. When will we learn there is no virtue in failing to stand up for what we believe? There is no right way to do the wrong thing!
It's time for us to wake up, rise up, and speak up! It's time to take off our rose-colored glasses and look at our nation, our neighborhood, and our home in the cold, clear light of day. It's time to start seeing ourselves through God's eyes -- the way he sees us!
How can we make America better? I believe with all my heart we must stop waiting for someone else to take action and do what we can, where we are! After all, a nation is people, and we can influence people. We can win them, lead them, and guide them. And the best way to accomplish that is by our own personal example.
Be a Christian example of a good citizen
The Apostle Paul urged: Be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity (1Timothy 4:12).
That verse doesn't need much explaining, does it? Our very word, deed, and attitude must be Christ-like and set a leadership pattern that will inspire those around us. Paul went on to say in verse 16, For in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
The thirteenth chapter of Romans deals with our Christian duty to the state and the duties of citizenship. We are instructed to obey the government and the laws of the land, and to pay our taxes.
As Christians, we should pray about everything that touches our lives and others. Our desire should always be for God's will to be done. I believe we should pray for those in authority over us, including our President, and state and local officials.
By being good Christians in our daily walk, we really can make America a better and stronger nation.
Get involved in the issues that shape America
Throughout the Bible, God expected His people to be involved in their country. When a nation was threatened by an enemy force, the king himself led the army. The citizens made up the ranks, or supplied needed provisions...then honored the heroes and celebrated the victory!
It's time we as Christians get more involved in every aspect of our country. It is right that we let our voices be heard on matters concerning religious freedom. But we must also be interested and actively involved in the social, moral, and political issues affecting America.
Recently I heard about a group of citizens in Oklahoma who were concerned about the blatant pornography being openly displayed in convenience stores before the curious eyes of children. They spoke out against it! So effective were their efforts that one chain of stores removed the offensive magazines from its shelves altogether, others moved them behind the counter, out of sight -- and the city government began drafting an ordinance to control the display and sale of sexually-oriented publications.
Involvement is tremendously fulfilling personally -- and it gets things done. Look around you for what needs to be done...and set out to do it!
Let's have revival!
I love to read about the impact some of the great men of God had upon our country in their day. The record shows that when spiritual giants like Whitefield, Wesley, Finney, and a host of others conducted their great revivals in America, they closed down the saloons, and crime decreased.
Now we often have so-called evangelistic meetings that have almost no impact -- some church members aren't even aware there is a meeting going on!
Our nation needs a revival of old-fashioned, Bible-based, life-changing salvation, and faith in God. The people of the United States need a renewed appreciation for God's goodness and an increased awareness of their dependence upon Him.
You and I must be part of a new emphasis on evangelism and the Church, on winning people to Christ. The more people we get to accept the Lord Jesus, the better our country is going to be.
We must start where we are -- in our house, our neighborhood, our community. Perhaps it is true that we personally cannot reach the entire world -- but we can reach our world.
I love that beautiful song that expresses the prayer, "Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me." Each of us can adapt that prayer and cry out, "Let there be revival in America, and let it start in my house...in my heart."
Oh, may we love our country and its people in a real, practical way, like we've never loved before. Let's take off our rose-colored glasses and see America as God sees it. Let's allow Him to wash our eyes with tears of repentance and intercession.
Let's join hands across this nation and work together for Christ until we make our country God's country!