I heard something in seminary that is still clearly lodged in my consciousness, “Just because you think it’s what God says in the Bible doesn’t mean it’s what God actually says in the Bible.” It was the professor’s way of not so subtly reminding us that we bring our own belief systems and narratives to the Bible, often unknowingly, that cause us to see in Scripture what we want to see. Of course, this sort of pivoting is not limited to a particular theological position. It is part of the human condition, and takes discipline, prayer and the Holy Spirit to move beyond what we want to see so we can actually see the Word of God as clearly as possible. This dynamic is not limited to the sphere of biblical interpretation. It is increasingly present in our nation today as people with strong belief systems and narratives fit what they observe happening into those existing belief systems and narratives far more than coming to grips with what’s actually taking place. Again, this is not limited to a particular ideological position. It’s part of the human condition, and takes a willingness to explore, probe and see things in a new way if facts warrant it. It is my deepest prayer in these days of polarization that those of us who are disciples of Jesus Christ – whether we lean left or lean right – will join together in applying our faith, engaging in prayer and seeking the Holy Spirit’s guidance as we do our best to get as close to the truth as possible about what is unfolding in these tumultuous times in our nation.