I used to be proud to be an American. Now, the more I think about it, the more I struggle with that concept. My lack of pride doesn’t have anything to do with politics, the state of our Union, or the man in the White House. Now, don’t get me wrong, I mean no disrespect and I assure you that I’m quite thankful to be an American. I’m just not “proud” of it.
In fact, I think pride has become quite a problem. We’re proud of a lot of things. I may be in trouble for saying this, but I may live in one of the proudest states in the country. In Texas, we even make waffles in the shape of our state (and trust me, it’s hard not to feel a twinge of pride while eating a Texas-shaped food).
Racial pride is another problem. Many Christians are openly proud of the color of their skin. Personally, I’m not particularly proud of being white, but I’m not ashamed of it either. Isn’t there room in the middle for racial indifference? Do we either have to be proud or ashamed? I mean, I’m neither proud or ashamed that I have brown hair (black hair, if you ask my wife). My hair color is simply a matter of the genetic hand I was dealt; and I don’t care! The same is true with my skin color. My skin color does not define me and I’m neither proud of it or ashamed of it; I simply don’t care that I’m white. Furthermore, I don’t care what color your skin is either.
I think all of this really boils down to a simple question: What really matters?
- On the Day of Judgment, it won’t matter if you were an American or a Pakistani.
- On the Day of Judgment, it won’t matter if you lived in Texas or Rhode Island.
- On the Day of Judgment, it won’t matter if you had black or white skin.
- On the Day of Judgment, it won’t matter if you had three doctorate degrees or a G.E.D.
- On the Day of Judgment, it won’t matter if you drove a Mercedes or a Pinto.
As for me, I’m absolutely done priding myself in things that don’t matter. I’m thankful I am who I am and have been given the things I’ve been given, but on the Day of Judgement the only thing that will matter is whether or not I am “in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).
Consider these inspired words of Paul (Philippians 3:3-11):
For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh—though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
And these (Galatians 6:14-15):
But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.
I hope you’ll excuse me if I’m not proud of my nationality, my race, my heritage, or my state citizenship. The only thing I care about is “knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.”
I love you and God loves you,