Ahh…the presidential election year. Between deceitful behaviors regarding emails to vulgar verbal attacks against women, this year has been full of moments that have left my mouth dry from being constantly agape in shock. And I’m not just talking about the “exchanges” (I just can’t bring myself to refer to them as debates) between the candidates. I am also talking about the violent and vicious social media frenzy from supporters from both camps.
As a non-partisan citizen (and I really mean that…I have no loyalty or leanings to either party) it’s been especially frustrating to sift through the mountains of rhetorical ramblings to get to any specifics about what the candidates actually are proposing to do to serve the people of this country (that’s why they’re called public servants, right?).
And as a Christian, it’s been hard to keep a godly perspective with so much political posturing and paranoid postulations swirling around me. I confess. I have contemplated everything from taking a hiatus to Alaska to building a survival bunker to wait out the impending doom that I hear so often is coming as a result of this election, either way.
My senses returned to me after spending some much needed time engaging the only reliable source for true perspective, the Word of God.
So here it is… ”How I am Going to Keep a Christ-centered Perspective Through the 2016 Election”
Remember God’s Sovereignty
God does as He pleases, when He pleases, to/for who He pleases. Everything that has and will happens is under God’s rule (1 Chron. 29:11-12). That means the good and the bad. That can sound intimidating and hard to digest but only if we forget God’s character. He is just and He is good. Anything He allows is ALWAYS for just and good purposes…even when we don’t completely understand or find it unpleasant. But it comes down to believing more in what we know about God’s character more than how we feel about what His character allows to happen.
Remember God’s Warnings
There is NOTHING going on in this world that God did not already warn us about. Jesus warned His disciples in that beginning of the end times there would be wars, rumors of wars, conflict, famine, earthquakes, hate, and lawlessness (Matthew 24:3-14). He didn’t tell them this to scare them to death but so they and those that would come after them (us) would not become overwhelmed and hopeless when these circumstances occur. Rather we would find confidence and comfort to know these are to fulfill prophecy and usher the return of the King.
IMPORTANT: This is NOT a proclamation that Jesus is coming back in conjunction with the U.S. presidential election. There are some making that claim but they aren’t telling the truth. How can I be sure? Because Jesus said so. He plainly said that no one knows when except God (Matthew 24:36-39). It’s fruitless to become consumed with postulating about the timing of the return of Christ when He told us that it’s going to be a surprise. Instead, we need to focus on the one thing He told us to, being in state of constant readiness.
Remember God’s Victory
No matter the threat, no matter the enemy, Jesus has already claimed victory. There is nothing, no matter how frightening, that Jesus has not already overcome. And because we are in Him, we share in His victory (John 16:33). This is particularly important for me to remember as every news broadcast I view heralds the threats of unstoppable, undetectable enemies, near and far, that are out to get me. Let me be clear, I know there are people in this world whose only life ambition is to hurt others. But I also know that news stations are about ratings and nothing boosts ratings like panic and paranoia. That’s why I regulate how much news I take in and diversify my intake between broadcast, radio, and written. I’m not going to try to pretend to live in a Christian rose-colored bubble. But I am also not going to live in constant terror of disaster by the hand of the wicked (Proverbs 3:24-26).
Remember God’s Expectations
There’s a lot of temptation to join in the throngs of sarcastic commentators and snarky tweeters when it comes to election time. But what does God expect of me?
1 – Be in politics but not of politics. In other words, I must stay engaged with what is going in the political and social climate around me. These are essential for opportunities to stand for the gospel, justice, and demonstrate my care for my fellow man, as God desires me to do (Isaiah 1:16-17). But I cannot be drawn into divisive affiliations as if I placed my hope in a single human candidate or a certain party to fix problems that are often the byproduct of sin.
2- Respect and pray for those God ALLOWS to govern (1 Peter 2:13-14 and 1 Timothy 2:1-2). This means that I pray for their hearts and mind to be turned toward God, for godly wisdom, for their self-control, for their integrity, and for their just decisions. This doesn’t mean I have to like or agree with them. If I have to resist their decrees because it expressly goes against God’s word, I do it with respect and honor for the Lord’s sake. I can’t do this by my will. I have to adamantly ask the Holy Spirit to help me have a heart to do this.
Remember I Represent God
I am an ambassador in this world for Christ. People look at the things I do and listen to the things I say as indications of what faith in Jesus is really about. What message am I sending? Am I letting unwholesome talk (name calling, personal insults, etc.) come out of my mouth against a political candidate (Ephesians 4:29)? Am I taking part in the rhetoric of doom and despair for the future as if I have no hope that I put confidence in (Hebrews 6:17-19)? Am I allowing the cares of this life to choke the Word of God out of me (Mark 4:19)? People are watching me. What are my actions saying to them about who I really believe Jesus Christ is?
Sync a little deeper…
How has the current political and social climate been affecting you?
What challenges you most about God’s expectation for your treatment of those in governing positions?
What are you going to do to keep a godly perspective?
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