Did you know we are in an election season? I think one would have to live under a rock not to notice (you may wish you now had a rock).
Growing up, I lived in a divided household, as various members voted both sides of the aisle. And still do. At times, conversation became rather spirited. I have learned through the years that there is a proper place, manner, and time for discussion of the deeper things. What is important is keeping all things in Kingdom perspective. In this light, how a particular family member votes in no way changes how I feel about them. We may not always agree on matters, but they are family. They are a child of God. They are covered by the cross of Christ. They need God’s love as much as I need God’s love.
Today’s charged cultural climate is troubling. The election cycle has been rather heated, to say the least. Every day it seems, new revelations hit the media, but how is a Christian to respond? Where has respect and common decency gone?
Should this surprise us? One can live the combination of a “me” focused culture and the “tyranny of the urgent” for so long before consequences begin to surface. This lifestyle has left us spiritually drained and emotionally anemic to withstand the tension between a life of faith or fear. In other words, if you reap what you plant, what seeds are we planting? What fruits are we producing? We don’t have a politics problem, but a problem with restless hearts who’ve lost their mooring in God. The more I observe, the greater it convicts and saddens me to hear and see the language, tone, and direction of recent conversation (if you can call it that) on social and news media. Just because a comment can be said, does not mean it should be said.
Bombs are thrown, casualties taken. At what cost?
Remember the Person
Wherever you stand on issues, remember that people are people. From a very early age I was taught the value of respect, regardless of who a person is, how they think, where they are from, or what they do. People are people, all seeking to navigate through the life we have been given. As a Lutheran Christian, we have a particular lens through which we view and live life. No one can predict what tomorrow will bring, this we leave to God. Instead, how can we love people through this anxious-filled time in our nation’s history? Think before you click, engage the person not the issue. November 9 will come and go. The sun will set and rise again. We will pack our kids in cars and bring them to school. Work deadlines and meetings will fill our day. Chores will be done, meals will be eaten, appointments will be kept. Life will continue. What has not and will not change is God’s faithful hand. He is the author of our story, the Perfector of our faith, so what good does it do to worry? Does it add anything of value to our day? As a Christian we live by faith, not fear, trusting our tomorrow to His capable hands.
Pastor Matt Popovits recently tweeted: “My Four Steps for the Christian Voter: Step 1: Pray for wisdom; Step 2: Vote; Step 3: Pray for forgiveness; Step 4: Love your neighbor.” There is a lot of truth to this post. Regardless of who you vote for in the upcoming election, keep “loving your neighbor” as priority. If you are still unsure of who or what policy to vote for, I am not going to tell you how to vote (that is not my place). But if I may be so bold, I would encourage you to pray for God’s wisdom and consider a candidate’s issues to see if they align with your faith, Bible beliefs, and conscience. Most importantly, vote; it is our Christian vocation as a citizen (about our relationship to civil government, read Romans 13:1-4). I have found great comfort in Paul’s words to the Colossian church:
The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:15-17)
Trust this Moment in God’s Hands
We are, where we are, for a reason. We may not see it now based upon our limited earthly point of view, but God is using this moment to shape us for things to come. So, rather than getting worked up about the election, consider this:
- What if we spent our time in God’s Word and praying for our leaders, our country, and its future direction?
- What if we engaged the people God has placed in our daily walk with the grace He so lovingly showed us on a cross?
- What if we sat down with folks, listened to their deep needs, and prayed with them?
- What if we sacrificially poured our thoughts and actions into serving others, pointing them to Jesus?
- What if we, through the Spirit’s power, aligned our life to the places we see Him moving and working?
- What if we lived more by faith and less in fear?
Take a breath, He’s got this!
Jesus Himself, speaks a helpful word: “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34) Seek first Jesus, and the things of God, my friend. Be positive and encouraging, regardless of what tomorrow brings, the good and faithful Lord is leading us toward a new day. Take comfort: He is before all things, in all things, and in Him all things hold together.
Christ be my Leader,