I don’t think any of us need to hear another blog telling us about the evils of a particular politician or political party. You don’t have to look far these days to find a new story or quote that’s being forwarded all over Facebook or Twitter, being “Liked” by thousands of people who don’t care enough to actually research the story before passing it on to all of their own friends. I’ve heard people slam Romney (not many, admittedly in ministry circles), and many more still express their discuss for our President and his party. It seems to be one of the few areas in life where prejudice is not only allowed, but embraced. It’s socially acceptable for someone to make a sweeping statement about all people of a political party…even when that statement is not true, not loving, and not beneficial.
But realizing all of this – is nothing new. Years ago, books were selling millions of copies that embraced the message that Jesus was not aiming toward partisan politics. He was announcing the ways of a new system entirely – a Kingdom centered on Him and the Love of God.
The truth is, there are people who love Jesus who find themselves voting in many directions…and motivated by differing key issues. Another important truth is – our children, not to mention thousands of people who are curious about Jesus – are paying attention to how we speak, what we type, and what we say when many of these issues arise. This is not a time for us to use scripture out of context to bash another person or party. The ways of world are to take unrelated facts, partial events, and half-truths and wield them as weapons to deflate and defeat the competition.
John 13:35 says, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.“
or James 3:9-10, “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.“
So what are we to do?
1. Seek Truth. When you hear a quote, learn the context. When you hear a story, seek more details. Be very slow and cautious to use the “forward/share” button. Try to see/hear it from an opposing perspective, and be willing to learn more.
2. Speak Hope. So much of politicking is based in “cursing” those we disagree with. Instead, focus on the Hope you have for the leaders you’re supporting.
3. Pray for our leaders. Whether they’re “voted in” yet or not, if they’re speaking on a platform, they have leadership and influence. Pray for them to have wisdom, humility, and to be the kind of leaders who reflect the image of God in how they lead.
4. Love. Remember when DC Talk said it? Love is a verb. We cannot simply smile, believing that no matter what we say, we really do love all people deep down inside. Love others, talk about what’s on your heart, and ask what is on theirs. This is a great time of easily opened doors to conversations of depth that we often overlook or misuse by being partisan-minded. Praying God would give you opportunity to Love on others ahead of time can be a big part of preparing for these moments. 🙂
My kids are young, and we don’t really talk much about “politics” at this point, other than praying for our leaders and teaching them some of their names. What about your home? How are you honoring Jesus while guiding your older children/teens through this election year and it’s often complex issues?