Another election season is upon us. It’s a time of red vs. blue, mudslinging, divisive rhetoric and commercials filled with spinning half-truths.
During times like this Christians often get pulled to one of two extremes:
- Endorse one candidate while painting all who don’t share that view as somehow less than spiritual, or…
- Abandon the political process altogether to the point of being totally uninformed.
Now let me say that I don’t believe either of the above extremes to be beneficial or even Biblical. Throughout the Bible we see God’s people involved with the political and governing powers of their day. Whether it was advising kings like Daniel or testifying before governors like Paul, God’s people were involved and informed of the political machinations that were impacting their lives while keeping an eye on their Heavenly citizenship.
As we approach one of the most divisive political seasons in recent history let us keep Jesus in mind. First let me define what I DON’T mean by this.
- Keeping Jesus in mind is not “voting how Jesus would vote” as if Jesus would endorse one candidate over another.
- It does not mean twisting and cherry-picking verses to back a specific political party/candidate.
- It most definitely does not mean tearing down anyone who disagrees with your view point as un-Christian/un-spiritual/unintelligent.
So what do I mean when I say we need to keep Jesus in mind this political season? I mean we need to seriously ask ourselves how we can make the biggest impact for the Kingdom of God over the next several weeks. Here are some suggestions for doing this.
- Listen, I mean really listen, to the concerns people have when making their political choices. In doing so we learn how we can better serve them.
- Do not allow your support for one party/candidate overshadow your love for Jesus. If you are more likely to talk about your party’s platform than the Beatitudes you may need to reexamine your priorities.
- Beware of being so vitriolic towards another candidate that you come across as hateful. It’s okay to have strong opinions, but remember, these are still human beings made in God’s image.
- Talk more about what you support than what you are against. I’m not saying we don’t take moral stands or speak out against sin, but the world needs to know what we are for as well as what we are against.
- Don’t judge someone’s love for Jesus by what political party they support. Jesus counted a Zealot (who had extreme anti-Roman sentiments) and a Tax Collector (who worked for the Roman government) among His Apostles. If they could unite in Jesus so can Democrats, Republicans and any other party.
- Understand that God can accomplish His will despite who holds office. This prevents you from pinning all your hopes on a human leader who will eventually let you down. Jesus will still be on the throne no matter who is victorious in November.
- Pray for all the candidates running. One of them will be our future president. We can start praying for that individual now.
Remember, as Christians we are ambassadors of Jesus wherever we go. Let us not tarnish His name by dragging it through the mud of politics, but rather let us lift Him up for all to see that there is salvation in no one else. Then and only then will we truly keep Jesus in mind through this election process.