Angie and I watched Amazing Grace last night. It is the story of William Wilberforce who, as a member of parliament in the early 1800's, fought for the abolition of slavery in Britain.
The movie is fantastic. It is the story of a principled man who desires to change the world, who fights against the popular idea, who is attached as treasonous, who overcomes an illness and ends up persevering. The story is both uplifting in its message as much as it is condemning of the practice of slavery.
Just hearing that a ship which originally leaving Africa with 600 men, women and children would land in the New World with 200 surviving distresses me. I cannot fathom the brutality and the inhumanity. Yet, I wonder if I would have had the same courage as Wilberforce.
In fact, I don't have to wonder if I have the courage - I can look to my actions today to see if I am willing to stand up to popular culture for what I believe to be right. Unfortunately, I find myself lacking and it's convicting. We've been going through a message series at church that also has been addressing this issue. It's been called, "Jesus For President" and the main message is that it doesn't matter if we vote Republican or Democratic, if we are truly following the Kingdom of God with Jesus as our leader. A takeaway from the series is, "We vote every day with our actions." To paraphrase - do others see the way I live, notice that it is different and special, and know that I live my life for God?
Unfortunately, I don't think I can honestly answer this in the affirmative. Thank Him for His amazing grace!