Focus on the Family Broadcast

Holding Tight to the American Dream

Holding Tight to the American Dream

Senator Tim Scott shares how all things are possible with hard work, a willing attitude, and a focus on our Creator. He encourages listeners to avoid a victim mentality on racial issues, focusing rather on the positive strides that America has made in the past two hundred years.
Original Air Date: September 2, 2022


John Fuller: Ephesians 3:20 says that God is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think, according to the power at work within us. And today, on Focus on the Family, we’ll share a story that I think will inspire you to overcome challenges you might have, as you experience God’s power in your life. Your host is Focus President and author Jim Daly and I’m John Fuller.

End of Preview

Jim Daly: John, in our country today, we can find many things that divide us. Uh, but perhaps with a little effort we could pay more attention to the things that unite us as Americans. Uh, we share so much more in common than we often recognize, which is a shame that we don’t concentrate on that from time to time. It’s easy to be discouraged by the fighting and the shouting, uh, at one another, that we see almost on a daily basis.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: And then, you know, cable programs just amplify all of that. Today, we have such a great inspirational story from a man who has overcome difficult circumstances early in life. And I’m talking about Senator Tim Scott. There is so much we can glean from his experiences about being optimistic and engaging the culture in truth and love. And though we’re an imperfect nation, there’s still hope and there’s room for redemption at every turn, and that’s the message in his book, America: A Redemption Story, Choosing Hope, Creating Unity.

John: And of course, we have the book here at Focus on the Family. Uh, just stop by the website or give us a call to learn more. Now, I know you’re gonna be encouraged by this recent conversation with Senator Tim Scott. He’s been in the US Senate since 2013, and Jim, here’s how you began this episode of Focus on the Family, asking him about life in a single parent household.

Jim: Let’s go back to those early years.

Sen. Tim Scott: Yes.

Jim: Wh- what was going on? What was your family like?

Sen. Scott: Yeah.

Jim: And uh, how was little Tim thinking back in those days?

Sen. Scott: Yes, differently, I’ll tell you. One of the things I cover in my book, America: A Redemption Story, is how the, the seven-year-old me was sitting on the side of the couch when my parents were about to divorce and just the pain and the misery that I felt at that time.

Jim: Mm.

Sen. Scott: And it’s one of my earliest memories of just trying to figure out, what could I give up to keep my family together.

Jim: What could you do?

Sen. Scott: Yeah.

Jim: Boy, I can relate to that.

Sen. Scott: Like, Christmas presents? They’re gone. Birthday? Not, not necessary if I keep my dad in my house, my mom together.

Jim: Hm.

Sen. Scott: I would have given up anything for that outcome. And it just wasn’t possible. And, uh, you know, I, i- i- i-, I’m not sure what you felt like, Jim, then, but I knew it was my fault. I just didn’t know why it was my fault, but I knew it had to be me. And, uh, moving to my grandparent’s house, moving in with my mother and my brothers, all three of us sharing one room, one bed, for a few years. It was a different and difficult time in my life, and one where my self-esteem was dropping precipitously.

Jim: Right.

Sen. Scott: And my view of the world had changed quickly. Uh, as a seven-year-old.

Jim: Yeah, you know what’s interesting with that? I had kind of a different response.

Sen. Scott: Yes.

Jim: Where you took it on and you felt it, and felt, it sounds like, a bit of guilt for what was going on?

Sen. Scott: Yup.

Jim: I kind of was like, “Why don’t these adults know how to act like adults?”

Sen. Scott: (laughs)

Jim: It was odd. It, well, uh, it … my wife would say it maybe created a little bit of a shell around my heart though.

Sen. Scott: Mm.

Jim: A little bit of callousness.

Sen. Scott: Yeah.

Jim: If I could say it that way?

Sen. Scott: That’s interesting.

Jim: I have to struggle with that, like, you know, okay, they own their own decisions. I don’t care what they decide. I, I did become a bit crusty as a kid. I, I think I would more like to relate like you.

Sen. Scott: Well and I’m-

Jim: Like, a soft, tender heart. (laughs)

Sen. Scott: So far, the funny thing is, I wish I had a little bit of that, that citadel around my heart.

Jim: (laughs) Do you really?

Sen. Scott: To be honest with you.

Jim: Somewhere in the middle, we meet.

Sen. Scott: (laughs) Yeah, exactly, sincerely, because I think I am a far more sensitive person because I take on the responsibility.

Jim: Yeah.

Sen. Scott: And the guilt associated with that responsibility of falling short.

Jim: Yeah.

Sen. Scott: And one of the things I had to work my way out of, as a Christian, was going back and understanding what my father, Abba father said about me.

Jim: Yeah.

Sen. Scott: It’s that Ephesians 2 journey of understanding who he says that I am. I’ve been adopted according to Galatians 3, I mean, 29. I’ve been adopted into a family and so my birthright, and who I am isn’t my experiences as a seven-year-old.

Jim: Hm.

Sen. Scott: It’s my experiences that started on September 22, 1983. It’s that new life that I should be looking at and defining myself from that perspective. Until then, I didn’t have that perspective.

Jim: Yeah.

Sen. Scott: And so, while I had a very religious life before my 18th birthday. I, I, I didn’t smoke, didn’t drink and didn’t hang out.

Jim: Followed the rules.

Sen. Scott: Exactly. All the rules, right?

Jim: Yeah, yeah.

Sen. Scott: But that’s not, that’s not Christianity, and, and frankly the more I understand about my faith, the more I realize that it’s not the rules, it’s the love.

Jim: Right.

Sen. Scott: It’s, it’s the story of redemption.

Jim: Yeah. I mean, boundaries are great, don’t get us wrong everybody. But-

Sen. Scott: Right.

Jim: That shouldn’t be the motivation.

Sen. Scott: No. The-

Jim: You should follow the boundaries ’cause you life Christ.

Sen. Scott: Exactly.

Jim: Yeah.

Sen. Scott: It’s if you love me …

Jim: Yeah.

Sen. Scott: You keep my commandments. And frankly, not all that I was not doing was it, what the word says you can’t do, it’s just the way that I had interpreted.

Jim: Yeah.

Sen. Scott: Especially with the interactions with my earthly father and the things that I saw that I didn’t want to replicate. And so, there was a lot of forces that were at work in my heart that, as I listen to you and the way that you responded to the same situation, I realize that both of us found a way to create a

Jim: Huh.

Sen. Scott: Self protection, kind of zone.

Jim: Coping, yeah coping, which is good.

Sen. Scott: A coping mechanism, yes.

Jim: One of the things in the book you, you mentioned, is the importance of your grandparents.

Sen. Scott: Yes.

Jim: And that’s awesome. I didn’t have that element.

Sen. Scott: Hm.

Jim: We didn’t, we were the, uh, family shrub. We didn’t have the tree.

Sen. Scott: Oh, okay. (laughs) Okay.

Jim: So, we were just it.

Sen. Scott: Aw.

Jim: The siblings, Mom and Dad, and Dad was gone. But but speak to that unbelievable influence that grandparents, your grandparents were and

Sen. Scott: Yes.

Jim: Grandparents generally.

Sen. Scott: Yeah.

Jim: I mean, so many grandparents are raising their grandkids now.

Sen. Scott: One of the things I, I love the story in my book, America: A Redemption Story, where I talk about my grandfather standing at the door, uh, just making sure that his grandkids were welcomed in. And my grandmother-

Jim: Standing at the door, that’s awesome.

Sen. Scott: He’s, he was there, and just opened his arms.

Jim: Yeah.

Sen. Scott: I mean, he’s a big boy, too, I mean, he’s a big guy. And uh, my grandmother was a, was a, was a short lady, but she was powerful and, and robust in her faith and one of the things that I remembered very early on while we lost any semblance of resources, the, the, the house was scarce at best. But the love, the abundance of love, the affection.

Jim: Yeah.

Sen. Scott: We were using the stove and the oven to heat the home. But the amount of love made it warm either way.

Jim: Hm.

Sen. Scott: And my, my grandparents really were the force to be reckoned with. They were the anchor, the glue, the glue for faith. It’s the second Timothy story, Second Timothy 1 talks about his spiritual heritage comes through is grandmother and his mother and, and my spiritual heritage comes through my grandmother, then my mother. My grandfather literally was a good man and became a Christian later in life. But ultimately faith was seen through her actions, heard in her prayers, and felt through her discipline.

Jim: Yeah.

Sen. Scott: And it was a really wonderful combination.

Jim: Do you think, you know, with that influence how much of an effect did that have keeping you moving toward God in your teen years and all that? ‘Cause we sometimes, we don’t even recognize those influences.

Sen. Scott: Yes. Totally. Listen, uh, if there were breadcrumbs left for me, they were my grandmother’s.

Jim: Yeah.

Sen. Scott: ‘Cause she … We went to church every Sunday.

Jim: Yeah.

Sen. Scott: At least once, maybe twice. Every Wednesday was a, was a nec- necessary, uh, part of the week, and prayer and faith was always in the household.

Jim: Yeah.

Sen. Scott: Uh, and, and so I think you’re right. There’s no question that the borders or the boundaries of faith that existed from the time I moved in at seven and, and, and frankly even until I graduated from high school, even though we weren’t living with her anymore, it, it was my grandmother’s steadfastness.

Jim: Yeah.

Sen. Scott: That resonated, because we were going to church whether you wanted to or not, whether you lived there or not, you were coming straight back to church.

Jim: Yeah, it’s so good. You had a mentor.

Sen. Scott: Yes.

Jim: I think you referred to him as John. Is it, is it Moniz?

Sen. Scott: John Moniz. Yes.

Jim: Moniz. And uh, expla- … That’s another important thing, especially for us guys who don’t have a dad.

Sen. Scott: Yes.

Jim: Present every day, um, we were both blessed to have men that came along that showed us the compass.

Sen. Scott: Absolutely. Yes.

Jim: John’s case, who was he and how did he influence you?

Sen. Scott: Yeah, so John Moniz was a Chick-fil-A operator. He was …

Jim: (laughs) Okay.

Sen. Scott: He ran the Chi-, that’s why I love Chick-fil-A everybody listening. I hope you all love Chick-fil-A, too, because I am an, I’m, I love it, enamored with it. Uh, one of the stories I tell in my book, is about the importance of, the important role that mentors play and specifically John Moniz who I met at 15 years old. I was still in search of myself and John saw something in me that I could not see in myself, and he started teaching me some very valuable lessons about opportunity. Uh, he’s the guy that taught me that having a job is a good thing, but creating jobs is a better thing.

Jim: Wow.

Sen. Scott: He started planting the seeds.

Jim: Wow.

Sen. Scott: Of entrepreneurship, early on. He, he said, and y-, and think about where we are in this country, where we’re tal-, having so many conversations about polarization. We’re having a lot of conversations about race. But this is a white guy, in the 1980s, no official program. Just a guy who saw potential.

Jim: Yeah.

Sen. Scott: And loved people.

Jim: Hm.

Sen. Scott: No other reason. He starts teaching me that if you want to be all that you can be, the first, most painful step you must take is look in the mirror and take responsibility.

Jim: Hm.

Sen. Scott: You can’t blame your mom because she’s working long hours.

Jim: It’s a big step.

Sen. Scott: Your dad because he’s not around. He says, “If you’re gonna maximize your potential, you gotta look in the mirror and blame yourself for where you’re not.” That was hard for a little while. But he said it with, with affection. He didn’t say it as judgment. He said it as from an observation, as an observation.

Jim: Yeah.

Sen. Scott: And it’s those words that rang in the back of my head, the echo chamber of my life, was that all things are possible. It’s gonna take work and the circumstances that you find yourself, it’s not whether it’s fair or not. It’s, do you want out-, overcome them.

Jim: Hm.

Sen. Scott: Do you want to live beyond them? If you do, start with you.

Jim: Yeah. Let’s get back to the book. Uh

Sen. Scott: Yes, sir.

Jim: You, again, when you’re a, a young man, uh, you have an encounter with an orthodontist.

Sen. Scott: Yes, oh my.

Jim: Which is beautiful actually. It’s a great story. I don’t think … You’re 18, 19?

Sen. Scott: Yup, 19 years old.

Jim: Yeah, tell us what happened there and this, again, this is a great James kind of action of, on the part of the orthodontist.

Sen. Scott: Absolutely.

Jim: To pour into you. What happened?

Sen. Scott: He did. So, Dr. Monte S. Harrington. I will love that name forever.

Jim: (laughs) I love it, the S part is good.

Sen. Scott: Absolutely, yes. (laughs) Yes. He was a great man. So, I, I, I’m, I’m 19 years old. I’m working in the mall. I’m, I walk about a mile and a half to the orthodontist’s office. The closest one to the mall, by the way. And I walk into the office, and I have no ability to pay for what I’m getting ready to ask, and, and I walk up to the counter. Becky’s there, young lady at the counter, and she says, uh, “How can I help you?” We check in and, and Dr. Monte Ha-, S. Harrington comes, and he says, “Come on back.” I came back. He looked at my teeth and I had, I had two front teeth that did not like each other.

Jim: Right. (laughs)

Sen. Scott: Like, literally. One was, went to the left.

Jim: My wife shares that, uh, yeah.

Sen. Scott: One to the right (laughs). It’s a tough one, right?

Jim: You gotta get them in an alignment.

Sen. Scott: Exactly. Exactly.

Jim: (laughs)

Sen. Scott: And Dr. Harrington was just so kind. He said, “Wow. I think I can help you.” And I’m like, “I bet you can.” (laughs) And so, he said, “Let me ask you a question, and we’re gonna go to work right now.” He says, “How much can you afford?” I didn’t know whether that was to literally kick me out, because I couldn’t afford something, or what? And the next question stunned me. He says, “Well, whatever you say, I will take, but you better pay it.”

Jim: Yeah.

Sen. Scott: I said, “$40 a month.” And he said, “Let’s go to work.” He literally did what he could immediately, and committed me, a verbal contract.

Jim: Yeah.

Sen. Scott: To paying him.

Jim: Yeah.

Sen. Scott: Not in writing.

Jim: Yeah.

Sen. Scott: A verbal con-, can you imagine a verbal contract for a couple thousand dollars’ worth of braces?

Jim: I’d like to believe in that, but yeah.

Sen. Scott: My goodness. And so, my life has been blessed with people like Dr. Harrington who literally saw the opportunity to do something for someone who could not do it for themselves, and he did it. And as a result, my esteem rose. Uh, I, I wa-

Jim: People were investing in you.

Sen. Scott: They were.

Jim: Yeah.

Sen. Scott: In a way that I could not, myself. But they all required me to do something and I, I thank God for that part, because the notion of individual responsibility that is woven through my book, America: A Redemption Story, is a very important key factor to one’s own flourishing. You have to do it for yourself. If you can, you should. If you can’t, different conversation.

John: This is Focus on The Family, with Jim Daly, and you’re listening to Senator Tim Scott, and uh, he and Jim talked recently about, uh, Senator Scott’s memoirs and he’s had such an interesting life. And the book he just mentioned, again, the title is, America: A Redemption Story. Get that from us here at Let’s go ahead and return to the conversation with Senator Scott and Jim Daly.

Jim: You know, Tim, let me ask you this. Uh, because you’re vibrant. You have a certain aura about you. I could see why people would see you as, wow, this, this kid’s got something.

Sen. Scott: Yeah.

Jim: He’s special. Um, generalize that a bit, about how did, how does a person wake up, uh, from maybe their, uh, poor situation.

Sen. Scott: Yes.

Jim: Whatever it might be, and have a smile on their face, which I guarantee, you had.

Sen. Scott: I did, I did.

Jim: And that made a difference, people are willing to help people that are optimistic, you know?

Sen. Scott: Absolutely. One of the, one of the, and I, I did it when I started my first business as well, was I went to a, a bank and literally, with a lot of happiness and joy and no money and no credit, (laughs) asked for a loan.

Jim: And they said yes.

Sen. Scott: Well, they said yes after they walked me through what it takes to get there. (laughs)

Jim: Right. (laughs)

Sen. Scott: It’s gonna take a little time. But the truth is, wha-, I, I wish we would explain this to our younger people. Literally, all things are possible, not because we said it, but because it is. And second thing is, your responsibility comes first. You have to do all that you can and by doing so with an expectation that others will come and help you where you can’t help yourself, that’s America, by the way.

Jim: Yeah.

Sen. Scott: It’s every, it’s almost every community, every culture in this country, we have that key ingredient that when you put all your chips on the table so to speak, it’s, even though I don’ gamble, literally someone will meet you there.

Jim: Yeah.

Sen. Scott: And so, I think the simple questions, the simple answers are simple. Number one, do all that you can. Number two, do it with the best, the best attitude possible. Zig Ziglar said it a long time ago, “Altitude is determined by attitude.”

Jim: Right.

Sen. Scott: And an attitude of gratitude, will take you a long way.

Jim: Yeah. It’s just so easy to work with people that have that attitude.

Sen. Scott: 100%

Jim: Let, let me, uh, shift gears a little bit. Um, and this is a broader question about the country we both live in.

Sen. Scott: Certainly.

Jim: Um, imperfect, definitely.

Sen. Scott: Yes.

Jim: We talked about how many people are trying to get in here, though.

Sen. Scott: Absolutely.

Jim: Even with our imperfection.

Sen. Scott: Yes.

Jim: When you look back on the racial issues, which, you know, have been paramount over the last, uh, five, six years with certain things. George Floyd and BLM and all these things that-

Sen. Scott: Absolutely.

Jim: – are kind of, uh, you know, expressing themselves right now. Uh, if you sit on the porch with your grandpa

Sen. Scott: Yup.

Jim: and have that discussion, what he lived through

Sen. Scott: Right.

Jim: And what you’re living through, I would think, but I’m a white guy

Sen. Scott: Yeah.

Jim: I would think you’d say, “We’ve made some progress.”

Sen. Scott: Oh my gosh. This is one of the things I say in the book, is I tell the story about how my grandfather, born in 1921, he died in 2016 at 94. In 1921, he literally had to get off the sidewalks when he saw a white person coming.

Jim: Yeah.

Sen. Scott: And never make, uh, eye contact.

Jim: Yeah.

Sen. Scott: He, h-, he spent his time at 7, 8, 9, 10 years old, picking cotton, in a cotton field.

Jim: Right.

Sen. Scott: He lives long enough to watch his grandson pick out a seat in Congress.

Jim: Yeah.

Sen. Scott: So, in his lifetime, from cotton to Congress in one lifetime.

Jim: Yeah.

Sen. Scott: So, if you want to know the miracle of America, if you want to understand the evolution of, especially the Southern Heart, look at the life of Artis Ware, and one of the lessons he taught me very early on, was to never become bitter and don’t ever allow yourself be a victim. He said, “You can be a victim, or you can be victorious. You can’t be both.”

Jim: Yeah.

Sen. Scott: And if you become a victim, you’ve resigned yourself to wait for someone to do something for you, or to you. If you’re victorious, you look for the paths forward, and without really any expectation that his life was going to change, he knew that it was changing for his children. And because of that, he knew it would change for his grandchildren.

Jim: Ah.

Sen. Scott: So, instead of judging America on where we have been, he judged us on where we could be.

Jim: Which is so good, ’cause, uh, again, every nation has its flaws.

Sen. Scott: Absolutely.

Jim: You know, hopefully, uh, we’ll begin to realize that bitterness factor that you’re talking about, if we could all cooperate better and not be bitter and move forward, we’d be a better nation even beyond what we are today.

Sen. Scott: One-, 100%. I think we are without question the, the land of hope and opportunity. We do need to take responsibility for the challenges that we have had.

Jim: Yeah.

Sen. Scott: And one of the ways that you look back and say, “What is America doing about our original sin?” And I think that’s a fair question.

Jim: Right.

Sen. Scott: We should start, of course, with the Civil War, where we fought and lost 600,000 people, 4% of the American men, to set people free.

Jim: Yeah.

Sen. Scott: That’s a good start.

Jim: Right.

Sen. Scott: It – we should think about when President Lincoln was pondering his second inaugural address and he was writing down, will the blood taken by the lash, or the whip, be requited at the tip of a sword?

Jim: Hm.

Sen. Scott: So, there’s this balance he saw in the, the universe and he frankly said, “Will the creed, or will God allow this war to tarry?” And so, we see that there’s been a huge price paid for the sin. We look at the, the 1930s or the Jim Crow South, or the 1960s and you see that we wrestle as a messy – human existence is just messy. We wrestle with it. But we always come to the conclusion where we get better.

Jim: Hm.

Sen. Scott: And so, now we look back, hindsight being 20/20, we can look at 2008 with the election of a, the first African American President, President Obama.

Jim: Yeah.

Sen. Scott: And you shou- you should ask yourself, “Is America a racist country?” Well, I guess not. Uh, you see 2020, the election of the first African American Vice President. We’ve had Colin Powell, and, and Secretary Austin leading the most powerful military force in the history of man.

Jim: Yeah.

Sen. Scott: You, you look at, uh, American Express and Kim Chenault, an African American leading that business.

Jim: Right.

Sen. Scott: We have so many examples of American prosperity and progress. But, but Jim, one of the challenges that we have, we don’t tell the whole story. In today’s time, you’re either all bad or all good.

Jim: Right.

Sen. Scott: God forbid

Jim: Right.

Sen. Scott: That you tell both sides of the ledger.

Jim: Right.

Sen. Scott: The bad that we have seen in this country has been paid for by really powerful and good forces, typically humans, Black and white ones, working together for a better America.

Jim: Hm.

Sen. Scott: That’s the story of greatness.

Jim: Yeah. No, I so agree. I’m thinking of Solzhenitsyn, who wrote that, you know, if it were only that easy to gather up all the evil people and put them somewhere.

Sen. Scott: Yes.

Jim: But the problem is, evil cuts through the heart of every human being.

Sen. Scott: No exceptions.

Jim: I mean, it’s kind of a gospel message right there.

Sen. Scott: It’s Jeremiah 17:9.

Jim: (laughs) Exactly, right.

Sen. Scott: Yes.

Jim: I, I’m so encouraged by the, uh, uh, choice movement when it comes to schools.

Sen. Scott: Amen.

Jim: And we’ve got, uh, Steve Schuck is a good friend here in Colorado Springs.

Sen. Scott: Yes, yes.

Jim: Chuck Colson, uh, who, the last Chuck Colson was such a great friend of Focus. Of course, Colson Center and prison ministry he started.

Sen. Scott: Great job.

Jim: Um, one of the things he said to be is, “Jim, we are condemning minority children into a life of poverty because of the schools they have to go to.”

Sen. Scott: Yes.

Jim: These underperforming, inner city schools that need to be shaken up, need better teachers. It, I’m sure there’s good teachers in there. But generally, they’re not producing the product that they need.

Sen. Scott: The, we, we call those schools Title I schools.

Jim: Yeah.

Sen. Scott: And I will say, that without any question, that not only are we typically condemning them to a life of poverty, we’re also increasing the likelihood of incarceration. The average person, I think 70% of those who are incarcerated, I believe the percentage is, can only read at the fourth-grade level. That is a crisis that can be avoided by bringing options into the poorer zip codes. I’ve said it ou- ou- consistently, that a quality education is the closest thing to magic in America. If you have one …

Jim: Right.

Sen. Scott: You’re on the right side of the tracks. No matter which side of the tracks you’re on. And if you have a bad education, you’re on the wrong side of the tracks, no matter what you look like.

Jim: All the data supports that.

Sen. Scott: One thousand percent, and frankly it is the great equalizer. We, we, we have perhaps a long road to go on fairness in the eyes of some. But the true answer isn’t a racial answer. It’s an education answer.

Jim: Yeah.

Sen. Scott: More than it is anything else today in America.

Jim: Senator, in the closing moments here, I want to ask you about unity. And because we have so much division in our country, we can become easily frustrated at others who have a different world view. But you look at 2Timothy 2:24, you know, where God says through Paul, “Be patient enduring evil.” It’s becoming more difficult, and I, it, I – I’m challenged by those Scriptures, Tim, to be honest with you.

Sen. Scott: Yes.

Jim: Because I mean, a-, you’re doing it every day.

Sen. Scott: Yeah.

Jim: But ho- how do we love our neighbor.

Sen. Scott: Yup.

Jim: Love the Lord, not get hyped up, not get emotional, out of control, when it comes to the evening news.

Sen. Scott: Oh.

Jim: As Christians? It’s volatile.

Sen. Scott: Yeah.

Jim: I feel my blood boiling when I hear some of the stupidity

Sen. Scott: Yes.

Jim: that is going on.

Sen. Scott: (laughs) Yes.

Jim: And then, like I hear that, still small voice saying, “Remember who’s you are. You’re mine.”

Sen. Scott: Yeah.

Jim: Endure evil patiently.

Sen. Scott: Yeah. (laughs) So, that’s a, that’s a good question.

Jim: Ahhh!

Sen. Scott: Right, right. Um, uh, one of the things, and I close with this in my book, America: A Redemption Story, is I talk about in my last chapter, about the importance of looking towards America 2070. That’s a long way away.

Jim: Yeah, I won’t be here.

Sen. Scott: I’m s-, I’m not sure that I will either. But here’s what I would tell you. In order for America to, to be the nation that we want it to be in Amer-, in America 2070, we literally have to continue according to Galatians 6:7, and Verse 9, be patient, and in due season you’re going to reap an amazing harvest. I don’t believe that the, the Scripture you were quoting tells us to sit back and be idle as evil roams the land.

Jim: Yeah.

Sen. Scott: I think John 10:10 is perhaps a really good Scripture for us to remember, that there is a thief that comes to steal, to kill and destroy, but Christ has come that he might ha-, that we might have life and have it more abundantly. But think about the actions of Jesus. He was very active, even in his disagreement. Think about the scene at the temple, when he took the whip and cleared it out.

Jim: Right.

Sen. Scott: So, we, we should not think of ourselves as passive because we’re Christians. We should be an active ingredient for good, and when necessary, we should have the confrontation that stops evil from spreading.

Jim: Yeah.

Sen. Scott: I think if we don’t remember the words of Thomas Aquinas that really basically says that if you’re not angry when things are bad, question yourself.

Jim: Yeah. No, that’s good.

Sen. Scott: My, my paraphrase.

Jim: Yeah, the, uh, just yesterday, my son Trent was telling me this. He, he heard it from Jordan Peterson who

Sen. Scott: Yes.

Jim: is a very smart man. I don’t know that he’s a theologian.

Sen. Scott: Right. He’s not.

Jim: And so, I say this with a word of caution. But, uh, he was watching Jordan Peterson and he said he has made a comment that, that meek, the meek shall inherit the Earth, is about being able to put the sword in the sheath.

Sen. Scott: Yes.

Jim: That you’re trained to use it.

Sen. Scott: Right.

Jim: You can use it.

Sen. Scott: Yes.

Jim: But that you have the power to restrain yourself from using it. So, that’s an interesting way to look at that Scripture. It’s not about being weak.

Sen. Scott: No.

Jim: It’s about being strong, if you need to be.

Sen. Scott: Whe-

Jim: But, controlling yourself, which is what we’re talking about.

Sen. Scott: 100%, Jim, and, and I’m so excited over here, so I want to jump into the conversation. But it’s James 4:10. It’s like, you humble yourself so you’ll exalted, those who exalt themselves will be humbled. And so, the question is, what’s the difference? Well, humility is harnessed power.

Jim: Mm.

Sen. Scott: It’s you can. Romans 13 says that there are ministers of the gospel and government, given a sword. Well, think about the reason for a sword.

Jim: Right. (laughs)

Sen. Scott: But justice is the key.

Jim: Uh-huh.

Sen. Scott: It is not to go after your, your arrogant desires because you’re strong, you take from the weak. That’s also evil. It says that you are there and given a sword for justice sake. And if we remember that justice is not about me and you alone.

Jim: Right.

Sen. Scott: Justice is about looking to the future and working our way back and doing what’s right according to the gospel, we will have a just America and a just America is always a strong, powerful America and I will end with this. Ronald Reagan says, “Peace through strength.”

Jim: Yeah, all of those are the same. Same, pointed to the same thing.

Sen. Scott: Converges on the same point.

Jim: Tim, this is great, and what a message you have in America: A Redemption Story, and coming from you, who have lived with your extended family, your grandfather.

Sen. Scott: Absolutely.

Jim: Uh, you know, it’s just such a refreshing way to look at the progress that is being made with more progress being required.

Sen. Scott: Absolutely.

Jim: And it’s wonderful, and to just see the hand of the Lord on you, I just

Sen. Scott: I, bi-, I’ve had a great life and I’ll, and hopefully there’s more, more, more fun to have.

Jim: (laughs) I’m sure there will be.

Sen. Scott: Yes.

Jim: Thank you for being with us.

Sen. Scott: Yes, sir, thank you for having me.

Jim: Mm.

Sen. Scott: God Bless.

John: What an upbeat and encouraging and hopeful message, Jim, from a recent conversation you had with Senator Tim Scott here on Focus on the Family.

Jim: Yeah, John and more of his story is captured in his book, America: A Redemption Story, Choosing Hope, Creating Unity. And, uh, it’ll encourage you, and give you great tools for bridging the gaps that can sometimes feel impenetrable in our society and when you send a gift of any amount, as we often do here at Focus on the Family. If you can send a gift, we’ll send you the book as our way of saying thank you for joining the ministry and being part of it.

John: Yeah, support the work of Focus on the Family, uh, make a donation as you can, and ask about that book when you call 800-232-6459. That’s 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY, or online, you can donate and request the book at And be sure to download our Focus app from the website when you’re there. And on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, thanks for joining us here on Focus on the Family. I’m John Fuller, inviting you back as we once more, help you and your family thrive in Christ.

Today's Guests

America A Redemption Story Book Cover

America, a Redemption Story: Choosing Hope, Creating Unity

Receive the book America, a Redemption Story and the audio download of the broadcast "Holding Tight to the American Dream" for your donation of any amount!

Recent Episodes

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Organizing the Chaos in Your Home

Kristi Clover, mother of 5, shares quick and simple tips to bring joy into your home by getting more organized. From clearing the clutter to choosing your top priorities, you’ll learn some techniques to make housework easy and fun for the whole family!

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Encouraging Your Kids to Discuss Their Feelings

Feelings can be confusing for children to experience and express. In this upbeat message, Dr. Joshua Straub will equip you to create a safe environment in your home, so that your children can express what they are feeling and learn how to manage their emotions.

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Walking With God Through Trials (Part 2 of 2)

Michele Cushatt shares her story of walking through difficult times and how faithful God was throughout. She explores ten practices—concepts such as lament, humility, contentment, and perspective—that will help you build and strengthen your faith so you can weather those stressful seasons with God. (Part 2 of 2)

You May Also Like

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

A Legacy of Music and Trusting the Lord

Larnelle Harris shares stories about how God redeemed the dysfunctional past of his parents, the many African-American teachers who sacrificed their time and energy to give young men like himself a better future, and how his faithfulness to godly principles gave him greater opportunities and career success than anything else.

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Accepting Your Imperfect Life

Amy Carroll shares how her perfectionism led to her being discontent in her marriage for over a decade, how she learned to find value in who Christ is, not in what she does, and practical ways everyone can accept the messiness of marriage and of life.