Today we hear a lot of tweeting, postulating, conjecturing, speculating, and a whole lot more about this whole Russia investigation. Parties and media guess about what it means that certain folks have been interviewed. Some holler that it’s a witch hunt and a hoax. Some holler collusion. Others simply say they don’t care what it is, they just want to get to the bottom of any interference in and election so we can prevent it from happening again. Others still say it’s a waste of time and we should let it go and get down to more pressing matters like economics, immigration, budgets, military, and so forth.
I’m not trying to get political here. Just pointing out that in this instance in American history when there is a special counsel investigation underway we’re hearing from almost everyone. And depending on who it as or where they are aligned, what is being said is intended to form some kind of narrative to frame whatever eventual outcome awaits.
What I want to weigh in on is something that has caused me to marvel in an era where folks are on a hair trigger when accused or criticized. An era where everything seems worthy of a rebuttal or retort. An era where leaks abound in every form and fashion. What I marvel at is that while the circus rages all about, there is one person, and his team, that seem to be able to stay tight lipped, out of the public eye, and, at least in the public eye. immune to the chatter, spin, and guesswork. Mueller.
I haven’t heard of a peep coming from him or his camp. The biggest thing seems to be something that happened some time ago when he let go the agents whose tweets about Trump have been tossed all over the air waves. And even there, I don’t recall Meuller addressing it. Simply that when he was informed of the tweets, off the team they went.
All we know is the bare bones. Who has been interviewed. What indictments have been made. But no commentary fleshing anything out from the actual team or man. Any guesses we have heard or made by talking heads are just that. Guesses.
How this will bear out is anyone’s guess. I don’t suppose to have a clue. But what I do see in this operation is something that is sorely lacking today. Discipline in staying out of the mess we see all over the public discourse.
It takes discipline to keep quiet when we want to shout from the rooftops. It takes discipline to keep something air tight when it would be easy to feed the media dogs or in most of our cases, the gossip mill. It takes discipline to simply keep head down and be about our work when so much swirls overhead and on every side.
Discipline lends a certain credibility to us. It commands a certain respect from people who understand the nature of discipline. To those who seek truth, discipline lends regard, even if in the end there isn’t full agreement, because as much as possible it has the marks of honest searching, seeking, and discerning.
We could learn a lot from this sense of discipline as Christians.
How often do Christians get baited into arguments and before long are heated, or making comments that are outside the realm of reason or respect because they feel backed into a corner? How often do Christians spout authoritatively on subjects about which we have no genuine understanding, and undercut our credibility in the process? How often do Christians, desperate to prove ourselves right, stretch our claims or “dot connecting” far beyond what is rationale? How often do we speak boldly, forgetting to listen?
How often do we allow ourselves to get into drawn out, undisciplined arguments and debates?
How often do we engage in conversations that jump the line from conversation to gossip? How often does it happen not because of intention, but because we haven’t the discipline to pay attention to our own emotions and desire for “juicy details” when they rear up?
When James talks about the difficulty controlling the tongue, he’s talking about discipline. When Jesus says “let your yes be yes and no be no”, he’s relying on us to be people of discipline.
I’m sure you’ve noticed that the root of discipline is disciple. If we are to be true disciples of Christ, it means we need to, ourselves, be models of a calm amidst the storm. We need to hold an assured center, knowing that our goal isn’t to impress some mere person or ingratiate ourselves to another, it is to honor Christ.
Honoring Christ means measuring our words. Making sure that if we speak, our words are laced with love, imbued with humility, and speak as true as we can to the greatest of our understanding. It means taking stock of more than the feeling of a moment, but of all that is entailed in a commitment or decision so that our yes or no can be genuine and reliable. It means mirroring the wisdom of Jesus who found a way to engage the spirit of those who were against him in a fashion that revealed truth without compromising His own integrity.
How this whole thing with Mueller will pan out is a mystery at the moment. Have whatever opinion you wish about him, his team, and all the fracas around them. But don’t miss this simple point that will yield Christ driven results in our own lives today. Discipline matters. Jesus had it. Peter struggled with it. When Peter got a hold of it, he changed the world for Jesus. So can we.