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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, 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, 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

(1 Timothy 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.

In thousands of schools, businesses,
churches, and homes across our nation,
multitudes of people have gotten involved in a
grass roots effort to help the starving millions
in Ethiopia and other famine-stricken African
countries. One school in New York received
national attention when its students (all from
poor or low income homes) raised several
hundred thousand dollars to buy and transport
food to Africa. Their example inspired similar
efforts in communities from coast to coast.

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!

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