Have you ever lost a big deal? How about a major election? The 2012 election in the United States is a good opportunity to look at winning at any cost versus being willing to pay the price to hold onto your principles. The day after the 2012 election, as the pundits, proponents, and the cast of a thousand commentators have analyzed the results, many voices espoused that the Republicans cannot win if they do not give up their positions on “social issues,” e.g., same-sex marriage and abortion.

For me this raises the question: Where do we stand as a nation and as individuals? I personally do not believe in “collective salvation,” but I am realizing there is “collective condemnation.” When individuals fail to stand for their principles, they fall for anything, and apparently they will also vote to allow anything.

I became a Christian at the age of 7. So for over 40 years I have been working on my faith and growing as a person. I can look back across the 40 years of my life and remember when divorce was rare and difficult, bankruptcy was something to avoid, debt was necessary evil to buy a house or a car but credit cards were only for emergencies, insurance was for major medical events, and unemployment was a short-term safety net. Today divorce is common and easy; bankruptcy is routine and has an entire industry around it; debt is the “answer” to enable you to have a couple of house, cars, boats, vacations, and every toy imaginable; credit cards are in multiples, maxed with outrageous interest rates and are used continuously everyday; insurance is required and expensive and for preventative as much as major medical events; unemployment is long term, chronic, and for all too many a hammock not a safety net.

Our schools even our churches are busy telling us what we are “entitled” to have, how to “get rich” and “feel good” about ourselves. Few institutions have allowed God in their hallowed halls, and if they do it is not the God I met and have come to know in my 40-plus years of walking and talking with Him. God and His Word have been “repackaged” into something less than He is. He has been given a smaller and smaller place in our lives, institutions and unfortunately our hearts. The blessings He bestowed upon the United States have been forgotten, overturned, ignored, or blasphemed.

My nation is at a turning point, a crossroads where we can turn back to God, Biblical principles, and the tenets of loving thy neighbor, and abhorring the sin, or we can ignore the sin, turn our backs on God, and watch not just our nation, but the world head toward judgment.

The Republicans lost the election. As a Christian, conservative, capitalist, the election results portend a race toward policies, practices, and more that I cannot condone. As a Christian, the “winning” of the election by conservatives would have held back or at least slowed the progression of dismantling a country built on Biblical principles. It would have given us more time I think to make more substantial changes, to get more people to wake up, to realize that conservatism is not enough. God is the answer. Jesus Christ is the Way. Turning back to God as individuals and as a nation is critical. Holding firm to supporting Israel is the right choice.

Unfortunately, things will have to get worse and still the accountability will not be there. The wisdom and clarity of vision to see what is wrong will come to late if at all to most.

Turning to God and leaning on Him. Knowing that we cannot understand His Ways and that He will work all things to His Purpose is what keeps me moving forward. My prayers are going up for the nation, its leaders, its people, for Israel, for the world.

We have spent 40 or more days in prayer for this nation to make the right choices. The choices have been made and we have the “leadership” for the next four years little changed from the last four years. As I write this the stock markets are down over 2 percent. Layoff announcements are being sent to many employees of small businesses who know now that Obamacare will stand, taxes will be going up on them the “wealthy,” and the cash companies have will be held just a little tighter.

As I hear about and from various businesses scrambling to prepare for 2013, they either are talking about how many people they sent layoff notices to today or they want to know the options for getting the government as their customer.

Momentum. I think most people unwilling or unable to comprehend that the United States has no guarantee of survival or success. I personally believe the US still has a great potential to return to the thriving innovation and economic success that we have experienced since the US was founded. But it will require us returning to being a melting pot,  wherein those who came to America came to be Americans and join into a united system that assimilated the strengths and diversity of its people instead of hyphenating and dividing into different categories of Americans.

My family has always been diverse in nationality, ethnic backgrounds, and denominations of faith. They have been of different political perspectives. But they were all Americans first and our demographic backgrounds second. We weren’t Irish American, German American, Scottish American and African American. We were Americans. Our skin colors varied from lightest of light to darkest of dark. We had different accents. We had different ethnic foods and stories. But we were Americans working together, disagreeing on religion, politics and more, but when push came to shove we lined up side by side to fight, to support, to love one another.

The principles that united us as a family diverse as each of its members were God, freedom, liberty, and faith. We didn’t look for fights, but we didn’t back down from them either. We stumbled, but got back up. We made mistakes, but we owned up to them. We helped our neighbors, cared for our allies, and protected the weak and the innocent… Life was hard, but it was precious. Principles were held onto and fought for no matter the cost.

Now I fear that winning is everything and no matter who wins, too many of our nations, people, and generation have been lost. Lost to belief that things are all that matter. That freedom is cheap. Security comes from someone else carrying the load.

Yes I think we lost the election, but it isn’t simply that one party one and the other party lost. It is that the principles we once held dear have been abandoned. The God we held onto has no place or role in what we are doing. It may have just been one battle as one of the commentators said, but I fear it was the pivotal battle that could have held the high ground just a little longer. Given us time not to rebuild but to return to “one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all”.

I won’t take the advice to give up my principles to win the next battle. A battle without principles is a war that is lost. I cling to my principles and to that old rugged cross. How about you?



Author:  Lea A. Strickland, MBA CMA CFM CBM GMC
Copyright ©2012 Lea A. Strickland
All Rights Reserved

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