Last night President Obama delivered the traditional state of the union address. I am writing this prior to the speech, since I will be in a church service and miss it. Here’s what I’m guessing will be in the speech.
His vision for putting American back to work. Jobs. The economy. And immigration reform. Of course, there will be a “shout out” to those serving in the armed forces. And the need to maintain a strong military.
We will hear about everyone “paying their fair share in taxes.” Taking care of those less fortunate. And “investing” in America. (That’s code for Washington spending more of our tax money!)
The President will pledge to work with Congress. But will promise to move forward and get the job done, if they don’t cooperate.
Some social concerns may be mentioned in passing: gay marriage, women’s rights, environmental concerns and certainly gun violence.
Surely there will be something said about education and the importance of our school teachers. Maybe a teacher from New Town, CT will be recognized.
Well, how did I do?
By now everyone has either heard the speech or heard about it. And it has been discussed, dissected and debated. And there will be great concern expressed by many Americans over “the state of the union.”
But I’m guessing there won’t be three “state of the union” issues discussed that are even more pressing than jobs, gun control and immigration reform.
1. How’s the state of the union spiritually? Morally? Ethically? Actually, there is little need to cite statistics and give examples of crime, corruption and immorality.
The wise man wrote, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” (Prov 14:34). Unfortunately, our state indeed is sad and disgraceful. Sin has reproached our nation. Evil has been called good. Darkness has been substituted for light. And sweetness has been replaced with bitterness. (Isa 5:20)
And there is not a lot I can do about “the state of the union.” But I can do something about my moral state. I can live “soberly, righteously and godly in this present world.”
2. How’s the state of the union domestically? I mean in your home? Your family? With your spouse? And your parents? Or your children?
It is easy for Christians to decry the perverted moral state of homes today. And deplore the redefinition of the family. But the greater question is…Am I following God’s plan in my home? What Paul wrote still applies today.
“Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged” (Col 3:18-21).
How’s the state of your family?
3. How’s the state of your union with God? Are you in fellowship with the Father? Are you in communion with Christ? Are you producing the fruit of the Holy Spirit in your life? (2 Cor. 6:14-18; Eph 3:3-23; Gal. 5:22-26).
The state of my spiritual union actually has more far reaching implications and consequences than the state of our national union. While I believe we should be good citizens, use our liberty for the Lord’s work, and advance the cause of freedom, let us not lose sight of our spiritual obligations.
I’m called to a higher citizenship. A heavenly one.
I must advance the Lord’s cause whether the political climate is favorable or not.
And my need to remain free from sin’s allurement and Satan’s shackles demands a greater priority than national or political freedom.
How’s the state of your union?
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman