by Kimberly Smith • ELCA Director of Marketing and Communications
Do you ever find yourself shaking your head, mouth open in disbelief, at something you have read, seen on television or online, heard on the radio, or even something you’ve heard a friend, family member or colleague say?
I’ve been in that position more than a few times in the last couple of months. It’s nothing short of shocking to see some of the things that have become ‘the norm’ in today’s society. Beyond that, those who find these things appalling may find themselves labeled as unfair, unenlightened or referred to as a closed-minded hater.
Self-centered indulgence, pride, and a lack of shame over sin are now emblems of the American lifestyle. There are very few television programs, or even commercials, that do not operate on the premise that anything goes. Post after post on social media will give off the impression that there’s something wrong with you if you could possibly hold to Biblical beliefs.
It’s difficult to stand for truth. Especially when you will be under fire for your stance. Jesus tells us in John 15 that we can expect to be hated…because He was hated. But we can be encouraged. The Bible also tells us, “Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of (your devotion to) the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets.” ~Luke 6:22-23
We see the evidence of what God described in Romans 1:18-32 all around us. People, in claiming to be wise, have become fools (v22). They have exchanged the truth about God for a lie (v25). In verses 30 and 31, God says, “…they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy.”
God, give us the discernment and wisdom to recognize the deception that pervades our culture. More importantly, help us to stay true and stand in the gap for our families and children! Children who are raised with Godly principles and who are given a Godly example to follow will not turn from it (Proverbs 22:6). How much more important is Kingdom Education in today’s society? It is a sacrifice to provide children with a private, Christian education. But the investment…into the most valuable resource you’ve been granted…will reap a great return.
There’s an old Christian song that speaks of this. The lyrics state, “You say we’ve risen to a new age of truth; You say we’ve risen to a new age of light;
You’re telling me what used to be wrong is now right. But what if we’ve fallen to the bottom of a well, thinking we’ve risen to the top of a mountain?
What if we’re knocking at the gates of hell, thinking that we’re heaven bound? What if we reach up and touch the ground…to find we’re living life upside down?” LORD, help your people to stand strong in the midst of upside down thinking and hold out your hope to those around us!
Kimberly Smith first came to ELCA as a member of the Ministry Team in 1994. In 1995 she took the position of Business Manager. She enjoyed being a stay-at-home mom to her children from 1996 until 1999 when she returned to ELCA as a volunteer Preschool Music Teacher. She now enjoys the role of Director of Marketing and Communications after serving 14 years as librarian and Director of Libraries. Her daughter, Erika, attended ELCA through her 9th grade year and Ethan, is a member of the ELCA Class of 2014.