Live differently - The world is watching
How do we stay “on purpose” this election week?
Every presidential election season is declared the most important of our lifetime. While I don’t dispute this, The Christian faith challenges us to think differently about the political process. Here are three essential ingredients for living “on purpose” through the drama of this presidential election.
If you are a Christian, you are different. Jesus is more concerned with how you treat people who vote differently than you than who you vote for. The NT testament is mostly silent about political engagement (you can’t engage much with tyranny), though it is very clear about submission, and prayer for rulers, even those who stand in opposition to the faith (Titus 3:1-2, Rom 13:1-3 1 Peter 2:13).
We all have political opinions and it is good for us to work towards the best of those, but it is essential that we do not allow our political opinions to give us a political identity. The Apostle Paul teaches, “our citizenship is in heaven.” In heaven, there will not be those of the donkey or the elephant, nor will there be blue or red worshippers. What we see will so overwhelm us that we will not even remember this election.
After the election is decided, our world will still have the same problem requiring the same solution. Regardless of who wins, humanity will still be in rebellion against its creator (Psalm 2). Religious people and irreligious people will still be fighting against God for control (Romans 1-2) and it will be evidenced in the way we fight against others made in His image.
There is no political solution for this.
“Salvation comes from the Lord.” (Jonah 2:9)
This election cannot fix what is broken inside of you and me. Only Jesus can.
Let’s exercise our practice of “Surrender in worship” this week.
Next time you feel “election stress,” remind yourself who is in charge by saying, “Jesus is Lord” to yourself and to your heart until you believe it.
Win or lose, sing to yourself “Amazing Grace.” Remind yourself of what is really broken and what truly needs to be healed – in you and around you.
Surrender to God by “loving your enemies and praying for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44). Remember you must be different in attitude from the podcasters and cable news pundits who are charged to make a profit off of fear and anger.
Grieve (James 4:1-3, 9). Whether your party succeeds or fails, this election cannot produce a spiritual victory. Remember when people are in rebellion to God, there are no winners. The division in our nation blinds all of us to the true division that costs humanity what we really want – restoration and healing.
Surrender in worship by giving yourself time to lament what is really missing and what the Holy Spirit inside of each of us really longs for – a revival of restoration and healing that turns our hearts back to God.
Once we grieve, it is time to go! Titus 3 teaches us that our greatest act of political engagement is to be “ready for every good work.” Let the world witness our transformed lives, our radically different affections, our love and charity towards those who look, vote, and act differently than us--and may we be fueled by the good news that the solution for healing in this world has already been secured. The true division and enmity between humanity and God has been arrested by Jesus’ violent death on the cross and his triumph in the resurrection.
He changed everything. We can live differently.