This I Believe

Teri - Chula Vista, California
Entered on February 15, 2007

A friend emailed a poem to me today and asked me what I think. The poem, American Pride, lamented all that is wrong with America. It asks, “How can I teach my son to resist temptation, when we were prone to evil since the day of creation?” I believe that evil truly exists in America and is rampant in every single country, city and village on this earth. In America, perhaps our #1 evil is pride. So what can we do?

I believe that in any situation, we can choose to focus on the good or the bad. I believe that we should focus on the good because focusing on the positive, while remaining aware of the negative, is a much healthier way to live. I believe that we can teach our children about love and the power of forgiveness. We can show them the beauty in God’s creation, which can also be found in every corner of the world. We can teach our children to rely on Jesus and to forgive themselves and others when temptation causes them to stumble, because Jesus already paid the penalty for every sin committed by those who truly trust in him. This is as true for presidents and senators as it is for you and me.

The poem also asks if I’m proud to be an American. Well, having visited several countries including Sudan, Cambodia, Malaysia, Bolivia and others, I can say that I feel privileged and abundantly blessed to be an American citizen. I have a wonderful, supportive husband who loves me and sees me as an equal partner, not property. I have access to great, albeit expensive, health care, while a huge percentage of women worldwide still die in childbirth of preventable problems and millions die of curable diseases and illnesses. I can openly worship Jesus without fear of imprisonment or death. If I lose everything, I have access to social services, church programs, affordable transportation, free food and clothing, clean water, free schools for my son and the list goes on.

Is our country perfect? Absolutely not, but the grass isn’t greener anywhere else either. What we need to see is that evil isn’t the only thing present. So is God’s creation, his love and his Spirit. I believe that wherever we live we need to tend and care for the grass to make it as green as possible.