I've been pondering on the meaning of taking a stand. How does one do that? What does it look like to other people? What is required? I share with you a couple of brief thoughts on the matter, and would as always love other's comments and such.
Firstly I think that in order to take a stand you need to be armed with the essential tool of truth. I'm not one who thinks that truth is relative. I think truth is truth. There are a couple of ways that I want to discuss of taking a stand with truth. One of these is we must know what is true about ourselves. One of the areas I often work with clients is in identifying core beliefs. They usually boil down to 3 areas 1) I'm Intelligent 2)I'm Loveable 3)I'm Good Enough. I know it sounds like Stuart Smalley, by the way how in the world did that guy end up in the Senate? But, anyway those are healthy core beliefs. Often, I'd say far too often people develop a false core belief, of thinking the opposite of those areas is true. These beliefs form fairly young and can be affected by a traumatic event. These core beliefs act as filters, and we start experiencing things as evidence that what we believe about ourselves is true. The more evidence we have (based in reality or otherwise) the more entrenched the belief. Negative core beliefs can be changed, granted it takes effort. My point in bringing this up is that taking a stand is exceedingly easier when you believe what is true about you. Each one of us is intelligent, loveable and good enough just by virtue of the fact that we are children of God. Can you imagine the power if individuals stood up in this nation armed just with this truth alone? Courage and boldness would abound.
The other point on truth I would like to make is that it is imperative that we seek out knowledge about history and current events, and future possibilities. I recommend not relying too much on the Mainstream Media (big surprise :) As I learned in my history studies seek out primary sources when available. Find trustworthy places to go and even question those sources. A secure knowledge base makes for firm ground to stand on.
Also know why you believe what you believe. Belief can be confirmed and become knowledge through proper channels. Spiritual matters are confirmed spiritually, physical ones physically, and so on.
Secondly, in taking a stand it is important to do so with boldness, conviction and never minding what the consequences might be. People who stand for what is right are often subject to ridicule by others. We've certainly seen examples of that lately. Regardless of the surface reasons for ridicule and persecution at its core it is done out of fear masked by anger or self-importance. We have to be willing to face it, if not for our own selves at least for the benefit of the next generation. As Albus Dumbledore says in Goblet of Fire we are choosing between what is right and what is easy.
With this in mind I make a particular request to those who are struggling with apathy and/or indifference with our current situations. God knows you. As He told the Prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1:5), 'Before I formed you in the womb I knew you'. He did not send you here at this time because He knew you were a fence sitter. I ask you to cast off any shackles of apathy and indifference and to be who you truly are, who God knew and knows you to be. Refer back to my previous point of knowing the truth about yourself and than stand up with that knowledge. I'm not asking you to join me in marching, unless you're in the area:) Rather, I ask you to stand in whichever way suits you best. Be who you are.
Thirdly, and this is about how standing up should look to others, stand with open arms. Seek to be filled with the never failing virtue of charity. That term has been altered over the years, but its definition is unconditional love and kindness, positive regard, in short it is the love that Christ has for us. We demonstrate this with open arms. We love others even as we are despised and ridiculed and attacked.
We do this in part for the welfare of our own souls, to not be filled with hate or anger which only serves to darken the best parts of you. We also do this so that others may know there is a safe haven for when they come to a knowledge of truth themselves. Welcome with open arms all who long for morality, freedom and redemption in their lives. Each of us knows that feeling of redemption, because we have all needed it in our lives. We thus should be more than willing, we should be grateful, to offer hope and safety for others. We ought to follow the example of Dr. King. Let peace be our armor and let it be a motive. Peace is power far greater than force in helping change hearts.
Lastly (at least for this post) take a stand by following the example of General George Washington
Sometimes the most important way of taking a stand is falling to your knees, in prayer. There is remarkable symbolism in this act. Symbolism is a physical representation of a spiritual reality. The reality here is humility. Interestingly enough humility is strengthening, because you are turning to our all powerful Creator. Pride on the other hand, in all its forms from elitism to mockery to anger to tyranny etc., leaves men and women alone to their own weak selves.
We need God as much as ever, if not more so now. He so wishes to bless us, but those blessing are contingent upon our putting ourselves in the position to receive those blessings. In God we trust so to God we turn.
Take a stand be true to who you truly know you are, be true to truth, trusting in God with charity to all.
God bless in our righteous endeavors.