In my early twenties, I worked at the state capitol as the Chief of Staff for Representative Jim Horn. Horn was an entrepreneur and fast car affectionado. I learned many valuable lessons working for Rep. Horn but none more important than the power of one man standing firm in his objection to what he believed to be wrong.
Just like his driving, Horn's life moved at well over 100 mph. He was well known by Texas Highway Patrol as he set records driving from North Texas to the Capitol. His politics were simple, less government is the best government.
This means that Rep. Horn was voting "no" most of the time and his inability to compromise even the slightest when it came to bigger government made it difficult for me to find any friends for our small legislative initiatives in other offices.
At the time, I was busy in law school; so, the more time I dedicated to my studies, the better for me. I was in my second session with Horn when the State of Texas tried to force every car owner in metropolitan areas to pay a fee to have their cars tested for emmissions.
The previous session, Horn had been the only member (of 150 members) to vote "no" on giving the Texas Department of Transportation the authority to explore this initiative. It very rare to see a 149 - 1 vote on anything, especially a request to study a future government program!
However, Horn knew alot about autos, fuel and their emmissions. He knew that it was impossible to effectively test the various forms of engines. Like its predecessor the "State Inspection Sticker" it was nothing more than a money grab by the government. Furthermore, he knew that its target would be older vehicles driven mostly by lower income and elderly citizens.
Two years after casting the vote against the emissions study, Horn was leading the charge against one of the largest lobby expenditures ever to try and pass a program that would have ultimately cost Texas drivers over 500 million dollars a year in fees. Horn and the people of Texas won.
Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment. John 7:24
This verse is often interpreted as a warning against making hasty or superficial judgments about others, and instead encourages people to use discernment and wisdom when evaluating situations or people. Jesus' message is a reminder that true judgment requires careful consideration and discernment, rather than simply relying on surface-level impressions or prejudices.
There are many reasons why it is best to say no to those who would lead us down the wrong road. First, following someone else's lead without thinking critically about the consequences can result in negative outcomes. We may end up doing something that goes against God or causes harm to ourselves or others. By standing up for our Christian beliefs and values, we can avoid these negative consequences.
Second, saying no to negative influences can help us build self-confidence and self-esteem. When we stand up for ourselves and our beliefs, we show ourselves and others that we are strong and capable of making our own decisions.
Third, by saying no to negative influences, we can create a more positive and healthy environment for ourselves and those around us. When we refuse to participate in harmful or unethical behavior, we send a message that such behavior is not acceptable. This can encourage others to also stand up for shared Christian values, creating a more supportive and respectful community.
By standing up for our Christian beliefs and values, we can avoid negative consequences, build self-confidence and self-esteem, and create a more positive and healthy environment for ourselves and those around us. It may not always be easy, but it is always worth it to stay true to ourselves and the principles we hold dear.