Humans as a group are far too near sighted in life. I’m not referring to our actual vision of course, but the way we look at the life around us. We can often miss the forest because of all the trees in the way. We focus so closely on the obvious flaws that we miss the beauty in all the rest of the picture.
Anytime a significantly negative story dominates the headlines in our country, people starting pointing to everything that is wrong with this country. With the recent terrorist attack in Orlando, all the stats about our mass shootings start floating across the airways. And the truth is that these stats don’t lie… But they also don’t tell the whole story either. People start comparing our gun violence rates against other nations and showing how bad we are as a nation. The truth is, these numbers are horrible and we should be embarrassed about them. But comparing our negative stats with another country’s positive stats would be like comparing one person’s weaknesses with another person’s strengths.
I would be that if I took only my strengths and compared them to any reader’s weaknesses… I would probably win every time. I’m not bragging at all because it would also work in reverse. But when you start to look at the whole person, then the weighting of those strengths and weaknesses starts to changes and the ranking suddenly becomes more arbitrary.
Imagine if you viewed your spouse that way. You saw all of her (or his) weaknesses but then only saw all of another person’s strengths. If that were the case, I’d bet we’d have a lot of divorce in our country. Oh wait… that’s the problem. And it applies to our nation too.
Our nation has flaws… we have problems. But we have awesome strengths too. Yes, we have people who get guns that should not be allowed to… But our nation views rights as something not to be taken lightly. Our rights are “inalienable” and it takes some serious due process to have them removed. In our country, we are innocent until “proven” guilty. And we have the highest burden of proof too… “beyond a reasonable doubt.” This means that we would rather let a guilty person go free then punish an innocent. It’s not perfect and we do still punish innocents some times… but not as often as other nations.
As a result of all the incredible positives we have in this nation, we have the highest number of immigrants in the world. Almost 20% of all immigrants in the world, are immigrants to the USA (this is only the legal ones). Germany is in second place with almost 5%. The nation that makes up about 15% of the planet’s population is taking in about 20% of the planets immigrants. Why? Because more people appreciate the “whole package” of our country despite our faults.
But thank you Jesus for not being so near sighted. Thank you for being as far sighted as possible. Rather than looking at our flaws and our sin… rather than focusing on all the things we do wrong… when my God looks at me… (and any other follower of Christ) He sees the perfection in His Son Jesus instead of our flaws. He still wants us to improve, He still wants us to grow and have less sin in our lives… but He doesn’t stare so hard at the flaws that He misses the beauty in the One who paid the price for our sins.
That is an example we could all learn from.