The Unconventional Weapon of Good

“There is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness, and truth.”
Leo Tolstoy


Let’s make America good again. Only then will we be called great.

Are you heart-sore from seeing hateful spittle splash daily across your screen? Self-serving pretensions elbow outraged hypertension–is it any wonder we divide?

How will you respond? How should I?

We will either heal, or harm. Our weapons will deepen the darkness or usher in dawn.   There is no neutral position. We will either play this sick game, or bring hope to its exhausted players. We will be overcome by evil, or overcome evil with good.

With every single response.

But, you rightly argue, the word “good” is subjective–applied so confidently to our particular point of view. We’re more comfortable comparing our best days with the other side’s failures than admitting we have little good of our own.

Jesus claimed that “only God is truly good” (Mark 10:18). Perhaps he was warning us, busily inventing our moral hierarchies, to take our eyes off each other and admit we’re together in the same boat. To cheerfully acknowledge that, in an unaided swim from LA to Lahaina, some of us might prove more buoyant or athletic than others, but we would, every single one of us, drown.

Left to our own devices, we all fizzle. Yet, admitting our helplessness opens us to the rush of Greatness through us. The small and the humble are handed the mightiest of tools.

Don’t believe me? Turn off the relentless punditry and study history with eyes wide open. It has been and always will be the cunning wielders of mercy and justice who truly change the world.

The Unconventional Weapon of Good

In Romans 12, Paul lays out the strategy:

  1. Abandon your faith in any human institution or political ideology and allow God to have his way with you. Become the loving nonconformist we are secretly longing to see.
  2. Thirst for justice, but resign from your position as the judge of others, letting God do his (far better) job.
  3. Determine to live your life as a “we” not a “me,” giving yourself away for the sake of the great goodness God has planned for this world.
  4. Seek no other acclaim except that you remind people of Jesus and the world is brighter because you are in it.

Don’t take my word for it. Read Romans 12 as the non-negotiable command for anyone who claims to follow Christ. Read it again and again, until your heart begins to hope.

Let’s tap into this felicitous but formidable firepower so we will be the good in America again and again.

Are you aiming to be great the good way?


7 thoughts on “The Unconventional Weapon of Good

  1. Deborah Windes

    Bless those who persecute you! If we are to do this, it must mean that we are to bless those who we disagree with. Ouch! Thanks so much for these words.

  2. Cecilia

    I’m reminded of when we studied this chapter in Connections. It’s powerful and sobering. It’s also a lofty call.

  3. Jeff Quandt

    Hi Janet,
    “Like apples of gold in settings of silver.” Thanks for a timely reminder of the Body’s identity as Spirit-filled, against-the-tide Salt and Light.

    May 1 Peter 2:17 and Romans 13: 1-8 be preached from every pulpit in America.

    Life and Peace,


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