February 15, 2021
This Presidents’ Day, we wanted to share a powerful and timely message from one of our company’s long-time friends, Kay Coles James, president of the Heritage Foundation–the nation’s largest conservative research and educational institution.
James was recently interviewed by Ronald Blue Trust Financial Planner, Joshua Custer, for the company’s Legacy Summit. At this annual event, our employees gather to share our greatest victories from the past year, as well as our vision for the future of the company.
The theme of this year’s Legacy Summit was “Peacemakers,” and in Kay’s interview she explains how to live as a peacemaker in times of transition. At Ronald Blue Trust, our advisors apply biblical wisdom and technical expertise to help our clients make wise financial decisions so they can experience clarity and confidence and leave a lasting legacy. Wealth is a tool we can use to positively impact our lives, our families, and our communities. God calls us to bless others as we have been blessed and to pray for one another. Kay offers some keen insights on how we can pray for the leaders of our country. We invite you to read an excerpt from Kay’s interview below.
Joshua Custer: What are ways that we as individuals at Ronald Blue Trust and as a greater nation can strive to be peacemakers and help further Conservative Christian causes?
Kay Coles James: One of the first things we can do is lower the rhetoric that can be so divisive in our country right now and look at words that are healing and words that bring us together. I have said publicly that the language of president-elect Biden is one of unity, one of wanting to bring Americans together. So at least he seems to have the rhetoric down. And what I’m hoping for, praying for, and looking for is that actions will follow that rhetoric.
When you get on an airplane, you root for the pilot. If the pilot goes down, we all go down. You want the pilot to succeed. And so I want Joe Biden to succeed. I am rooting for him. He’s the Commander in Chief.
For those of us who want to be peacemakers in the next four years, it’s important to understand that we can fight vigorously, and we should. And we can block and tackle bad policy in every way we can, and we should. But at the same time, we are doing that because we want to see our country succeed. And at the end of the day, I want to see Joe Biden succeed.
I hope he will accept my invitation to hear another set of ideas, another voice to push back. But in the next four years, I’m going to try to do that with the dignity and respect that the office of president commands.
Custer: What makes you hopeful for America?
James: I think the American people would be encouraged to know that all across Washington, on Capitol Hill, and even within the administration, there were Bible studies and prayer groups going on with people from both sides of the aisle. We typically focus on that once a year during the presidential prayer breakfast, but it goes on every day in this town.
I just recently got an invitation from someone who will be taking over a major role in the Biden administration who said, “I would love to get your perspective and to see the kinds of things that you care about as we’re putting together our agenda.” That brings me great hope that while the politics of all of this is going on, there’s a great deal of sustaining work for the people getting done behind the scenes.
Custer: How do you view the Christian community really working to bring healing to our country?
James: The first thing that we can do is walk out our Christian values, let people see them in our lives as we live our testimony. We can demonstrate in our lives concepts that we say we believe. Racial harmony and racial reconciliation are important. And when people see that we’re able to do that within the community of faith, it makes it easier for the rest of the country to catch a glimpse of what Christianity looks like.
Don’t miss the fact that a lot of people will not want you to be peacemakers. There are those individuals who actually feed off the antagonism and want to keep it going. They want us to hate. They want us to be angry. They want us to fight. And when you don’t do those things, they perceive you as part of the problem and not as part of the solution. So being a peacemaker isn’t always easy.
I also am one of those people who has the audacity to believe in prayer: pray for wisdom, pray for courage each day, pray that we always present ourselves in such a way that’s honoring to God, and pray for our nation and our leaders. Pray for Joe Biden just as much as you prayed for Donald Trump, if not more. Pray for members of Congress. I do believe that is absolutely important for us as we go forward. I’m here to tell you that one of the biggest lessons that I’ve learned is this: I found out that life is so much easier when you trust God.
2 Corinthians 13:11 – “Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice. Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.”
About Kay Cole James
Scripture quotations taken from the NIV(R) Copyright by Biblica, Inc.(TM)