I saw a woman applaud Mark Sanford for refusing his paycheck during the Government Shutdown and it made me wonder if we prefer sentiment over impact.
Truthfully, his $150,000 salary is something he earns and is also protected by law. What I don’t understand is the sense of pride that others feel when describing his actions. Is it because he’s doing “what’s right?”
I hear this much in reference to Colin Kapernick’s movement throughout the NFL, where he took a knee during the National Anthem to protest police brutality. Those who disagreed said that Colin disrespected the flag and “should” stand. Why? Why should he stand and why are we proud of a very rich person “sacrificing” their salary, because their cooperation is unable to provide its product? (The government)
Truly, I do not understand.
Politics is a game of public opinion. The continuation of your job depends on your ability to have people like you. His actions, even if unmotivated by the desire to please, have earned favor in the eyes of the people.
My concern is what gains favor in our eyes.
Consider Jesus’ teaching in Matthew:
And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.” Matthew 6:5
We long for the approval and attention of others.
What would it look like if we did what was right and it was the norm. Long gone would be the celebration that someone did what was right, because the entire community would be counter cultural. Rep. Sandford’s actions of selling all that he owns or giving away his money would be exactly what you and I do as well.
I’m not going to clap for someone’s donation, even though it feels good. Rather I’ll pray that the world become a place where generosity, unprompted by anything other than the fact that we are good because we love God, is the norm.