"Not some inside and some outside God's government"

Politics can arouse as much skepticism as it does loyalties about government policies. Yet to improve the quality of government—at whatever level—a citizenry needs to maintain a watchfulness that isn't dulled by distrust or blinded by enthusiasm. What's called for is a spiritual alertness, a clearer view not only of ethics but of the divine government, which gives a basis for justice and legitimate cooperation among people. In an effort to get a closer look at some of the demands of this watchfulness, we asked Lamar Smith, a member of the United States House of Representatives, to share some of his views.

I once heard the definition of politics as a profession in which someone gets up to speak, no one listens, and everyone disagrees. There is a built-in sense of turmoil not only in the political arena but in other professions as well. I think when something appears to be that way, you need to stand aside from the human tumult and acknowledge God's power and goodness as available and actually able to be demonstrated in individual life.

It's important in politics, and in any other profession, that we appreciate what our real motive should be. I've always felt that to be successful in politics one really has to love people. I would widen that to say that to be successful in any profession one's true motive should be love of God and love of all individuals. That motive enables you to think not in terms of winners and losers but in terms of God's directing.

Second Thought
November 4, 1991

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