What To Do This Election
I had a feeling that title would pique your interest! Why? Because for most, politics produce passion, elections equal emotion. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but it certainly can be. In fact, it can be a very, very bad thing. If you’re reading this, it’s almost certainly because you’re a Christian or you may think yourself a Christian. So it’s to the Christian that I write this. To be frank, I’m tired of the tarnish many of us put onto Jesus and His Church during political seasons. Because make no mistake, when you speak evil against others (even politicians), or you speak truth in a hateful way, you are in sin. And not just any sin, but public sin that stains and brings shame. Thus, I want to remind you of five truths this election week so that your election emotion does not bring dishonor to our King and His Kingdom. For dear Christian, you’re first and foremost a citizen, not of this world, but of heaven. And as ambassadors here on earth, our behavior and our purposes must be vastly different than the citizens of this kingdom that we are passing through.
1. Care more about advancing the Gospel than advancing your politics
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…” Jesus’ mandate is not to make laws, install the best politician or even to create/keep the best possible government. Those are good things to work toward, but they are, at best, secondary to our call to change the world through personally representing Jesus. Another way of thinking about this is to be more of a Kingdom patriot and less of a national one.
2. Remember that our enemy is not flesh and blood nor is it a political party
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Sometimes we act as though the rulers and authorities of which this verse is talking, are the leaders of our opposing political party. Not true; our struggle is a spiritual one and it’s much, much bigger than what happens in 21st century American government. Ultimately, we all have the same primary enemies: Sin and Satan. And this is why people need Jesus exceedingly more than they need republicans or democrats.
3. Know that Truth AND love can lead to positive change, not anger and rudeness
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” “…not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance.” Without love, brothers and sisters, our truth speech is perceived as loud, obnoxious, hate speech. We need to realize that just as it’s God’s kindness that leads you and me to repentance, it is love, grace, mercy, and kindness that will impact hearts with the truth. So feel liberated to love and show kindness to anyone and everyone regardless of what they’re doing or saying that you disagree with.
4. From a heart of compassion for our country and community, engage and vote.
“But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” Whatever people group we find ourselves missionaries to (for that is what we are), we have a responsibility to be concerned for their good (spiritual and otherwise). Come to the proverbial public square and participate. Let the world see Jesus in you. Vote for those people and those initiatives that are for the “welfare of the city”, remembering that obedience to God’s design for life will bring about the most welfare.
5. Pray fervently for your heart, our leaders, and the election
“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. Pretty much sums it up “right thar”! In my last point, I encouraged to engage and vote. While this is a good idea, we’re not commanded to vote. But we are commanded to pray. And notice we’re to pray “for all people”, which would include liberals and conservatives, others who need the gospel AND yourself who needs Jesus to help you apply it rightly.
So much more could be said on this issue. But what it comes down to is this: Remember Jesus and remember what He lived for, what He died for, and that it’s He that saves, not politics.
Quoted verses (in order): Matthew 28:18a, Ephesians 6:12, 1 Corinthians 13:1, Romans 2:4, Jeremiah 29:7, 1 Timothy 2:1-4