Simon and Schuster just released your highly anticipated memoir, What Happened. Free of campaigning constraints, you promised it would be a revealing story of the devastating defeat you experienced in the 2016 presidential election. It is!
Some of the provocative excerpts that arrested my attention were:
- You were so upset by your defeat that you wanted to "scream" at Trump's inaugural address. You said at one time you wanted to call him a "creep" during your time with him.
- You were "ticked off" at debate moderator Matt Lauer for daring to bring up your email scandal.
- You resented Sen. Sanders competing against you for "disrupting the Democratic Party."
- You were so depressed you confessed, "I drank my share of chardonnay and was "splurging on burgers and fries."
- You made it clear for everyone that abortion is "sacrosanct" and unlimited abortion is "not negotiable."
I sincerely hope that this letter makes its way to encourage you upon release of your book. I have often prayed for you over the past decades.
In the wake of your totally unanticipated campaign calamity, opponents should remember the Proverb, "He who is glad at calamities will not be unpunished" (Prov. 17:5b). Desiring God's mercy, all of us need to remember this warning.
4 Encouraging Thoughts
Many of us still remember your gracious concession speech. At the end you quoted, "Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not give up" (Gal. 6:9, ESV). Here are four encouraging thoughts I hope will serve you in going forward.
- Experience God's peace by addressing anything contrary to the will of God.
There are few things better than living with a "clear conscience." A safeguard is steering clear of sin. Besides sexual uncleanness, in this section of Scripture you cited, God warns us of these relational areas, "hatred, strife, jealousy, rage, selfishness, dissensions" (Gal.5:20).
The Bible cautions us not to react impulsively but demonstrate, "love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and self-control" (Gal. 5:22-23) in human relationships. We all have to be on guard against grudges, resentment or playing the "blame game."
Hillary, you stated that you don't regret or intend to retract your controversial comment that half of Donald Trump's supporters could be put into a "basket of deplorables." I respectfully ask you to reconsider. Again, this same passage warns, "Be not deceived. God is not mocked. For whatever a man sows, that will he also reap" (Gal. 6:7).
So if we want to enjoy relational harmony and other's respect, we must be intentional in steering clear of divisive behavior. This is so relevant with our current atmosphere in America increasingly characterized by mean-spirited protests, acrimony and slander.
To enter into a new dimension of inner peace at this time in your life, consider setting an example as a "peacemaker" and "stateswoman." Pope John Paul forgave an attempted assassin, and Nelson Mandela forgave leaders who imprisoned him for 30 years. Let's all follow in their footsteps.
- Don't "grow weary" as you persevere in your new season of life.
Hillary, in my study, there's a plaque with these words, "Failure is never fatal and success is never final." Your setback is just a temporary bump in the road, and I encourage you to press on, believing the best is yet to come.
You state that you are done running for any political office but intend to be "politically active," similar to Eleanor Roosevelt's example. In preparation, why not give yourself permission to simply take some extended time to reflect, pray and recharge your spiritual batteries? Take a cue from respected journalist Britt Hume, who concluded his nightly duties as a Fox anchor and said he was going to be taking more time to be with his wife, grandchildren and study Scripture.
How about a little makeover for the days ahead? Being a wife, mother and grandmother, consider attending the upcoming Mom's March For America Sept. 23 in Omaha, Nebraska? You can win scores of admirers by projecting a new image identifying with this event's focus on faith, family and freedom.
- Devote yourself to "doing good" in a non-political way.
Hillary, I have a mantra I live by every day. It comes from the acronym H.O.P.E. (Helping Other People Every Day). I invite you to join multitudes of others who enjoy the adventure of being a blessing to people each and every day. After all, it was Jesus who taught us, "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35).
John D. Rockefeller Sr. strove to be a success. He became a millionaire by age 23, and in 20 years, was the richest man on earth.
Ambition and stress took its toll on his life. He suffered from digestive problems, depression and alopecia, the loss of his hair. Premature death awaited him.
He finally came to his senses and made a determination to follow these words of Jesus on giving. He realized he could take nothing with him, so it was time for a radical turnaround.
Rather than amassing wealth, he gave to those in need. Establishing the Rockefeller Foundation, he channeled his fortune into hospitals, research and mission work. His contributions eventually led to the discovery of penicillin, cures for malaria, tuberculosis and diphtheria.
At the age of 53, Rockefeller was destined for imminent death. But his resolution to "give rather than get" altered his life so dramatically that he lived to the ripe old age of 98!
Hillary, isn't this an inspiring example of what our lives can be? Consider those political leaders, celebrities and sports figures who made generous donations to alleviate suffering from the hurricanes. Boxer and politician Manny Pacquiao gave away $200 million to improve housing conditions in his country plus gives half his boxing earnings to better his Filipino people!
- You can "reap" rewards, as you "don't give up."
Hillary, today you're free from the incredible workload and scheduling demands that consumed your life for decades. What kind of legacy do you want to leave?
You were raised in Methodism, founded by John Wesley. He came to America in 1736 believing he was a Christian, but his Savannah, Georgia, experience was a devastating failure, which led him to write in his journal, "I came to convert the Indians, but, oh, who will convert me?"
Watch what resulted from this defeat.
John return to England. On his return trip, he encountered Moravian Christians, who invited him to a church service at Aldersgate Street in May 1738. I've stood at this very spot in England where a historical marker now stands.
Here, following a crushing defeat in America, John surrendered his life to Jesus Christ, proclaiming, "My heart was strangely warmed." This 5-foot-3-inch soon-to-be giant of the Christian faith was born again. He then impacted the entire world.
Here's the deal: Jesus said being "born again" is a prerequisite to salvation (John 3:1-21), and I believe you've come through this devastating loss to bring you to this defining moment.
People like Chuck Colson, Johnny Cash, Mike Pence, Manny Pacquiao, Abraham Lincoln and John Newton (former slave trader and author of "Amazing Grace") all went through traumatic experiences catapulting them into this transformation. God is giving you the opportunity to respond to His gift of repentance. Will you respond in humility?
Once you do, then put your arm around Bill and together discover the "abundant life" Jesus promised. Get involved in a strong Bible-centered church, where you can gain a scriptural understanding of today's pressing issues.
Check out the Bullseye Challenge initiative that is helping people across America develop a biblical worldview on 30 hot-button topics close to your heart like social justice, abortion and immigration.
Hillary, your last book was entitled Hard Choices. The choice to respond to God's amazing grace at this tipping point of your life is really the most important one you'll ever make.
What Happened doesn't have to simply be the title of your new book. Let it describe the new life you can discover at almost 70, living for the glory of God.
Larry Tomczak is a cultural commentator of 46 yrs, Intercessors for America board member, best-selling author and a public policy adviser with Liberty Counsel. His new, innovative video/book, BULLSEYE, develops informed influencers in 30 days (see www.bullseyechallenge.com). and he has a variety of resources on his website (see www.larrytomczak.com). You can also hear his weekly podcast here.
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