My blog comes out on Wednesday, but I can’t wait until then to post it. So, as I type these words I don’t know who was elected. Interestingly, that fact doesn’t impact what I’m going to write. Maybe your candidate won, lost, or wasn’t even an option. Regardless, our Christian convictions should remain. This has been an interesting season in American politics. This is also an interesting season for the church, God’s family. We are like every other family: diverse, opinionated, interesting, dynamic, and hopefully driven first and foremost by a great love for God and one another.
We have been in hospital rooms, at weddings and at funerals where the only commonality was love. The families that place their faith before their feelings are able to love one another like Jesus taught. No matter who you are, you probably have an opinion about the election. This is a good day to view yesterday from God’s point of view. He doesn’t need an oval office because He has a throne.
These five verses were as true yesterday as they are today. These truths belonged to your great-grandparents and will belong to your great-great grandchildren—if the Lord doesn’t return first. President Lincoln and President Reagan would have read these same verses when they were elected. Take a moment and allow that thought to resonate. This was and is God’s word, for the day after an election:
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior…” – 1 Timothy 2:1–3
Every leader, of any nation, needs to experience a road trip to Damascus. Our world leaders need to know how to acknowledge and follow the God of the universe. That is why Paul urged Timothy to teach people to pray for them. Our lives will be impacted by the decisions our leaders make. How often will we pray for God to guide our new president? We need to pray and encourage God to meet this person on a road trip to Damascus. As you pray, don’t think of the kind of person he or she is right now. Think about the person they could become, after encountering the risen Christ.
“Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.” – 1 Peter 2:17
Peter’s verse doesn’t require much explanation; it does require obedience. Peter isn’t telling us to like our president; he is telling us that we are to show the proper respect. And meanwhile, love your brother and sister in Christ, no matter how they felt led to vote. Don’t be afraid of a president’s decisions more than you fear God’s commandment to love one another, like Christ loved you.
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” – 1 Peter 2:9–10
I love my country. I love the beauty of this land, the music that patriotism has inspired, and I’m grateful for the men and women who are fighting to keep us safe. But, my first allegiance is to God and his “holy nation.” We should respect our president but serve our God. We are temporary citizens of this country but eternal citizens of heaven. We make a mistake if we don’t offer others the mercy we have been blessed to receive. Who would you be if God had not yet redeemed your life through Christ? That is a sobering thought for most of us. We aren’t better, just better off.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” – Matthew 6:33
Take some time and ponder Jesus’ command. Did you want your candidate to win yesterday more than you want his righteousness to “win” in you today? Jesus makes it pretty clear what God’s children should be most passionate about.
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. – John 15:13
Apparently most of America wasn’t very pleased with this year’s options for president. For many, even those who voted for the winning candidate don’t feel like our nation won. It seemed like most of the people who ran wanted the title more than the job.
Politics is a messy, ugly, slanderous business these days. Many of our talented, intelligent, and humble Christian brothers and sisters don’t want to swim in those waters. Many don’t want to expose their families and friends to the “stink.” John’s words resonate today as I consider the faces of men and women who would make brilliant presidents. Great love belongs to the person, the leader, who will lay down his life, rather than work to preserve it. Are you that leader? Will you talk to God about that? Four years from now, I would like to vote for a humble, brilliant brother or sister in Christ to lead our country. Is that you?
Join us at www.christianparenting.org and chime in on this week’s discussion question: How are you addressing the election with your children?