Have you seen the movie Lincoln? Do you know much about Lincoln? Before the movie all I knew was his wife was a bit of a crazy lady and he was known as honest Abe for walking a long way to return a penny.
But the movie, which who knows if it's an accurate portrayal of him or not, shows him in a light I didn't expect. Political. He wanted to end slavery at all cost and pushed to get his way by convincing people supportive of slavery to switch their views not based on their convictions but based on personal self-interest.
The movie portrayed some of the anti-slavery politicians as super extreme not willing to even rephrase how they said things in order to see slavery ended. It was as if they cared more about it getting done ideally or they don't want it done at all.
The Lord brought a few principles to mind through this movie. Here they are.
3 Principles We Can Learn from Lincoln the Politician:
1. "Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act." (Ps 37:5) The word picture for commit is like rolling a log down a hill. As it's in motion it bounces here and there being redirected. It reminds me of how faith that does nothing is not faith at all. Walking by faith requires a first step. It requires a commit step. For Lincoln the odds were against him. He could have just sat back and waiting until the timing seemed ideal and everything was in place. But he saw what needed to be done and took action. Which reminds me of one of my favorite verses, "...the people who know their God will display strength and take action." Dan. 11:32 When we take the first tiny step of faith it gives God an opportunity to show off.
2. Let go of the ideal. We live in a broken world, a world where the law of entropy resides. The law that says things naturally go from order to disorder. Perfection is not a characteristic of this world and the sooner we realize that, the sooner we will be able to enjoy the good that does exist. In the movie Lincoln made a comment about what good is it if you have a compass and know which direction North is if straight north of you is a swamp. Sometimes letting go of what we ideally want in order to see the overall good happen is necessary.
3. Function as though things are not all good or all bad. Before the movie I had in my mind Lincoln was all good. But nobody is all good or all bad except God and Satan. Dr. Henry Cloud wrote a book called Changes that Heal, which is super, where he addresses how our hearts tend to so easily do this. If we like someone, a place or ministry they tend to become all good in our minds. Then when something doesn't happen just so, we switch to thinking they or it is all bad.
I believe my husband is pretty good at this. If someone offers him correction, he is able to sort out the good and right from the wrong and bad. He is able to receive what's good and disregard the things said that weren't true. May the Lord help us continue to be able to see through this lens.
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Laura is married to her best friend Austin, and has three kids, two of who are adopted. They have been missionaries to college students for the last 11 years and currently serve in Denver Colorado with Master Plan Ministries. Laura loves to speak to women's and college groups and wrote an in-depth Bible study, Beholding Him, Becoming Missional which goes through First Samuel last year. She blogs at Beholding Glory and you can also find her on facebook, twitter, youtube, instagram and pintrest.
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