Well, our buddy, Joe Biden, is in the news again. Once again, he is being vilified by his own people. This time it’s because he said something nice about another former Vice President—namely, Dick Cheney. I’ve heard that some mothers eat their young, but this is ridiculous. In what twisted world is it wrong to say something nice about another human being (well—in ours I guess).
Jesus had something to say about that kind of attitude. During the Sermon on the Mount he said, “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” (Luke 6:35-36) I’m pretty sure political enemies are included in that statement.
The Opposing Party
Apparently, it’s not cool for a politician to compliment someone from the opposing party—even if that someone is long retired from public life. I not only find that to be incredible, it doesn’t even make sense. And it sure doesn’t say much for our current state of affairs.
Proverbs 16:24 tells us that, “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Joe said something nice about another man. His words were gracious. Unfortunately, there are those who will give no quarter to someone whose views vary from their own.
I say to Joe Biden, and anyone else like him who chooses to say positive things about others, don’t worry about your critics. We’ve not been placed on this earth to please the naysayers. People who would jump down our throats simply because we’ve got something good to say about others are not worth the ulcers.
The more I think about it, the more the whole thing reminds me of middle school. Student A would get angry with Student B. If you were friends with Student A, it was mandatory that you, too, would be upset with Student B. If you weren’t, your friendship with Student A was in immediate jeopardy.
The thing about middle schoolers is that they’re pre-adolescent. They’re immature. For the most part, they can’t seem to help the way they act. I know, because I used to be one of them. You probably were as well. Middle school can be a good experience as long as you grow up and chalk it up to…well, experience. Puberty ain’t all bad, but it’s not all good either.
Somewhere along the way, we have to grow up. Maybe the phrase, “have to,” is a tad strong though. It seems that some folks never really do mature well. Their bodies seem to come into adulthood, but their attitudes never quite catch up. I’m guessing that a good dose of Jesus might help.
Unfortunately, to a lot of today’s politicos, Jesus is just another tool to use during campaigns. Taking him at his word is a different matter.
[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and currently resides in Aldie, VA.]