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Monday, March 29, 2010

What I’m Reading Today: Luke 9:37-62

My days in politics taught me many important lessons. Some of those lessons I have left behind – others I cling to to this very day. I can give you an example of one of those lessons.

In politics, one of the most important things one needs to remember is to build broad based coalitions in order to get things important to you passed. This means you try to never put an end to a working relationship with a colleague because you never know when you might need their vote.

Some would be surprised at this lesson because - if you watch the coverage of our elected officials in Washington, DC or Sacramento - it sounds as if politicians are regularly vilifying their opponents and ending working relationships. Not so! Most of the time politics is like professional wrestling: the politicians understand they have to publically posture themselves in certain ways to appease their supporters - so they publically go after their opponents as if they were evil personified. Behind closed doors, however, they often get along rather well. They may vote on opposite ends of the spectrum on a few bills dealing with hot button issues like abortion and homosexuality; but when it comes time to voting on less controversial measures, they typically vote together 90% of the time.

Jesus may not have been a politician in the modern sense, but he understood the importance of building broad based coalitions.

How do I know?

Well, in today’s passage from Luke 9:50, Jesus said of a so-called competitor who was expelling demons: “Don’t stop him. If he’s not an enemy, he’s an ally.”

One of the challenges we progressive folks face is a tendency to stop folks we don’t like their credentials as a “progressive”. Sadly, our suspicions cause us to overlook or alienate many potential allies. Today, I would invite you to hold Jesus’ words close to your heart as a way of expanding your base of allies – and minimizing your number of enemies.

Til next time…

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