1 Samuel 3:19-21
All of Israel knows that Samuel is trustworthy. That’s because Samuel does what Eli wouldn’t—he speaks the truth, even when it is uncomfortable or inconvenient.
Today, our country is bitterly divided, and much of the animosity is fueled by conspiracy theories, lies, and misrepresentation. The goal for Christians is not to get along just to get along. The purpose of our lives is to proclaim the love God has for everybody, and to model that love by how we live our lives.
Christians risk undermining the credibility of our witness about God’s love when we justify injustice. Violent rhetoric, theology, policies, and actions do not reveal God’s love. We also run the risk of becoming untrustworthy to our communities and neighbors when we imbibe rampant conspiracies. Who would want to believe anything we say about God when we don’t even believe in basic facts?
Samuel and Eli offer lessons for us yet again. Our actions matter, and so do our words. As their priest, Eli gives lip service to God’s people, but his actions betray their well-being. Samuel promises to be a servant, and it requires him to speak uncomfortable truths that ultimately serve the people of God who have been betrayed by their leader. In the end, we must not shape our beliefs, words, or actions in the image of a political party, nation, or person. They will always let us down. We must allow ourselves to be shaped by listening and responding to the God who loves the whole world and who will never let us down. Then our words and deeds will be in alignment, never falling to the ground.
How does knowing God’s love for you make you a different person?
God, teach us to be trustworthy examples of your love by the way we live in the world. Amen.