After last night’s debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden it seems pretty clear that the polarization, anger, and insults will continue to be with us for the next two months leading up the election on November 4th. As a pastor who loves his church family I don’t tell them (or anyone for that matter) how they should vote. But, it certainly is my responsibility to teach and model how we should live as Christians during a time such as this.
So, how should we respond in a way that honors God over the next few weeks? I have four suggestions:
Over the past few years I have heard people say on social media that we need to stop posting remarks about the fact that we are going to pray. And what they mean, I think, is that there are times when we should do more than pray. That we need to move into action and that saying we are going to pray is just a cop out for not really doing anything. Yes, there are times we need to roll up our sleeves and take some necessary action. No doubt about it. But Scripture is really clear that one of the most powerful things we can do, about any situation, is to pray. Let’s pray and ask God to be a work in a powerful way leading up to the election on November 4th.
Treat people on the other side of the political aisle with love
I am deeply saddened by the way that people who claim to be Christians treat people who have different political views than they do. Consider the words of Jesus for a moment, “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Jesus taught us and demonstrated through his life that even our enemies should be treated with love. It does not mean we don’t disagree, but we should do it in such a way that they sense that we care about them and love them.
Make sure politics is not an idol in your life. How would you know if politics have become an idol in your life?
- You watch the news more than you pray and read the bible
- You are fearful
- You are worried
- You put more hope in politicians than you do in God
- You don’t have any friends who think differently than you about politics (which is another way of saying that you live in an echo chamber).
- You think and talk about politics too much
- You lack grace, kindness, and compassion towards those who disagree with you
- You have a really hard time admitting the weaknesses of your own political tribe. On the other side of the coin, you have a hard time admitting the strengths of the other political tribe.
You are active on social media but not your church, neighborhood, and city
I see this trend more and more. People greatly over value the impact they are making by sharing their opinions online. Let’s not lose sight of the fact that the church is how God desires to change the world. Are you partnering with others in the church to make disciples (Matthew 28:16-20)? Are you building relationships with those who do not yet know Christ in your neighborhood and city?