Naivete Is Not a Christian Virtue

Yesterday’s American elections were historic.  Almost everyone is in agreement about that. In January new government officials will be sworn in, and the country will begin its next four years with decidedly conservative leadership.

As we head toward this new period in American history, there’s something important to keep in mind. Naivete is not a Christian virtue. Wisdom, discernment, respectability are virtues.

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A humble, unpretentious faith is truly a child-like faith

Childlike faith in God and about His plan for the future does not equate to a spirit of naivete. They are not one and the same. Paul warned the Romans against being naive and falling prey to those with hidden agendas (16th chapter). A true child-like faith is humble and unpretentious, not naive.

The childlike faith of a Christian says, “I trust in God as a child trusts in his parents.” It does not say, “I trust in God and close my eyes because it’s all going to turn out good in the end. Wake me when it’s over.”

While it might be fun to be a kid again (and popular culture takes every opportunity to entice us to act like one), being a successful adult requires opening our eyes and looking at the world through the lens of wisdom.  It requires gaining knowledge about your past, your present, and your future — all the while trusting in Him.

There is a beautiful mystery wrapped up in His Divine Providence and the individual decisions we make each and every day. God is in control, indeed. But our actions on this earth also matter. They most certainly do have repercussions, consequences.

Yesterday was historic. The Trump Presidency will be historic. Each person’s vote mattered yesterday, and it will matter again in four years, and four years after that, and four years after that, and…

While we remind one another in love and humility to remain focused on God, to stress His Divine will as being the final authority in all matters, let us do so with the right attitude.  “God’s got this,” yes.  But we can’t be what God wants us to be and do what He wants us to do if we live our lives as if we are riding on a roller coaster with our eyes closed.

Regardless of how we feel about the outcome of the election, I encourage us all to do a few things. Let’s open our eyes, take His hand, and for heaven’s sake get out of the line for the roller coaster ride. Walk with God. Trust Him like a child would trust his Abba, Father, with a humble faith that does not place ourselves too highly in relation to Him or to one another.

But let’s also use the freedom God gave us to take our heads out of the sand. Let’s try to understand where we came from, what got us there, what got us here, and where we’re going. Let’s take advantage of the new start offered to all of us. Cause, Christian, “God’s got this.”  But He’s also got a plan for us to be active, knowledgeable, sober-minded participants in this world around us.

Don’t settle for roller coaster Christianity. Whether you feel like this country has been granted a reprieve or is on its way straight to Hades in high gear, put your adult, sober-minded, unpretentious faith into action. You might just change the world that way.

© 2015-2016 Our Lives in Stories

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