Hillary Clinton has won the Democratic Party's nomination for president. She won last night's primaries in New Jersey, New Mexico, South Dakota, and California. CNN estimates that she now has 2740 delegates, far exceeding the 2383 needed to win.
So much of life is unpredictable. Who would have imagined a year ago that Donald Trump would clinch his party's nomination before Hillary Clinton won hers? When Golden State was down three games to one against Oklahoma City in the NBA playoffs, who would have predicted that they would now be up two games to none in the finals? Who would have thought that a tech giant like Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg could have his Twitter and Pinterest accounts hacked?
While change seems to be the unchanging principle of the universe, human nature doesn't change. We still feel the same fears our ancestors felt. We still cherish the same desires for ourselves and our families. We still fight the same basic temptations. And we can still choose to live by God's unchanging, perfect principles for our lives.
Consider the changing sexual ethics of our day. It's conventional wisdom today that premarital sex is morally acceptable. However, a new study shows that women who were virgins when they married are far less likely to divorce than those with multiple partners.
Only six percent of women who were virgins when they married were divorced within five years. But thirty-three percent of women with ten or more sexual partners before marriage were divorced within that time. God can redeem our mistakes, but these findings reinforce the wisdom of his perfect will for us.
French writer Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr was right: "The more things change, the more they are the same." That's why we should focus less on the changing issues of the day and more on the unchanging realities that matter eternally.
For instance, David Brooks, my favorite New York Times columnist, is calling for us to "put the spiritual and moral implications of everyday life front and center." Brooks notes that "the soul can be elevated and degraded at every second, even when you're alone not hurting anybody. Each thought or act etches a new line into the core piece of oneself."
So as we face the temptations of our culture, "let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God" (2 Corinthians 7:1). As we face the discouragements of our day, let us choose to "rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer" (Romans 12:12).
And as we seek to love God and love people (Matthew 22:37–39), let us ask God's Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) to make us more like God's Son (Romans 8:29) for God's glory (1 Corinthians 10:31).
Alphonse Karr warned: "Every man has three characters—that which he exhibits, that which he has, and that which he thinks he has." Only God can make all three into the character of Christ. Would you make that fact your prayer today?
Publication date: June 8, 2016
For more from the Denison Forum on Truth and Culture, please visit www.denisonforum.org.
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