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Return Love For Hate

April 7, 2021

Leadership Notes

- He Shoots, He scores -

Charles Barkley, who was known as "The Round Mound of Rebound" during his college and NBA career, now does commentary and analysis for both college and pro basketball. I've personally taken it upon myself to transition his nickname to "The Round Mound of Profound."

Here's what Barkley proffered last week:

"I think our system is set up for our politicians, whether they are

Republicans or Democrats, to make us not like each other and so they can

keep their grasp of money and power."

Barkley was responding to the kerfuffle over the Georgia voting bill. After hearing all the back-and-forth over this dust-up, Georgia is the last thing I want on my mind. The problem is, and I think this is a point Barkley is driving at, the bill isn't as bad as its detractors say and it's not as good as its supporters say. Many people are coming at it from a perspective of confirmation bias. For me, it's really none of my business, which is hardly the prevailing position. People are funny.

Isaiah 53:6 captures our fickleness this way:

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Whatever you call it…group-think, mob-mentality, wokeness…our sinful nature drives us to attitudes and actions that are less than honorable. That's why Galatians 5:22-23 is such a key verse for how we live out our lives and relate to our surroundings. As Barkley noted, the world needs less divisiveness.

Which leads me to an uncomfortable observation. A major national newspaper rates the truthfulness of statements by political leaders. Untruthfulness is rated on a scale of 1 - 4 Pinocchios. When the Georgia story broke, our President said something that earned him 4 Pinocchios. Some say this might be one of the first times a sitting U.S. President has called for an economic boycott and economic sanctions of a state over dutifully and legally passed legislation. This level of divisiveness is hardly helpful. It seemed to me that, based on his campaign and continuing rhetoric, our President had placed himself on the higher ground. There are any number of Christian virtues that need to hold sway over times like these, especially from leadership perceived as being capable of bringing people together and healing a nation.

I love how Mr. T captures it in this Twitter thread:

* "Stop the hate! Okay, how? With Love Fool! Jesus said, 'Love your

Enemies' {Matthew 5:44} don't render Evil with Evil, answer hate

with Love. If somebody hates you and you respond with hate…

* …then hate Wins, but if you respond with Godly Love, then Love

Wins! Responding with kindness doesn't make you a sissy or a

chump. Oh no! When we return Love for hate, we are Finally

Walking with God. We can no longer talk about Love we…

* …have to live with it because some people never knew Love

before. Their parents never Loved them. Hate was Brought,

Taught, Practiced and Observed in the home. Hate grew from

Bitterness, Fear, Envy, and Jealousy - 'Father, forgive them; for

they know not what they do" {Luke 23:24}.

* Jesus died for Us, can we live for Him? If we don't love, then

Jesus was Crucified in Vain, and now Easter becomes a fashion

show where we get All Dressed up with no Places to Go!

Here's an idea - How about #MrTforPresidentialAdviser?

And now, your Moment of Spurgeon:

Immanuel, God with us in our nature, in our sorrow, in our

lifework, in our punishment, in our grave, and now with us, or

rather we with Him, in resurrection, ascension, triumph, and

Second Advent splendor.

With Much Love and Affection,


*As of this writing, the commissioner of Major League Baseball has not renounced and withdrawn his membership in Augusta National Golf Club, in Augusta, Georgia, home to The Masters Golf Tournament. Perhaps that is the next shoe to drop.

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