Let me just say that I’m not a very political person. Really. I try to vote but other than that, I’d rather watch the E! channel than the news. (I can’t believe I’m admitting that!). 🙂 Anyway, it’s been impossible to avoid hearing about the democratic race, and now as things begin to shift toward debates/mean commercials/ character/ voting records/ hot-topic issues–you start to get sucked into the madness. And some of that’s okay. I want to know what these guys believe in before I go to the polls.
Here’s my problem: Do you ever feel like people are trying to spread panic? Whether you’re a Rep or Dem, I just feel that the message being sent is that life as we know it will be over if the other guy wins. I suppose this could be true. But I’m not convinced. Maybe this feeling of panic and fear is being spread more in the Christian community. I don’t know. I DO know that Scripture tells us over and over to “be strong and courageous” (the book of Joshua is one example of this). And here’s one of my favorite verses: Proverbs 21:1, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.” This just tells me that God is in ultimate control. Nothing will happen that He doesn’t choose to allow. And if He does allow it, and it’s terrible–that’s life. But other than living with a healthy fear of God, I think Scripture tells us to be a strong people. Not trembling in fear of a political race and feeling frenzied and absolutely devastated if we don’t feel that the right candidate won the race. Another important point when it comes to politics that seems to fly out the window with believers at times: The Gospels tell us to “love our enemies” (Mt. 5:44, Luke 6:27). For me, enemy is too strong a word for someone who just doesn’t believe what I believe, but unfortunately, it’s not too strong a word for lots of believers. What does it look like to love our enemies? I don’t think it looks like people forwarding damaging emails about that person that may or may not be true. Or inciting fear into other people. To me, it’s remembering that God already knows what’s going to happen and He’s promised several times to never leave or forsake His people. It’s praying for those people who frustrate you–lifting them above yourself. It’s doing our part (like voting and speaking the truth in love and treating others with respect) but having faith in a God who is bigger than the issues.
I can easily get caught up in the panic. But when I start to feel fearful–I have to remember that God hasn’t called me to be afraid (Romans 8:15). So I’m praying for both candidates at the moment, and thanking God for the country that I live in. Yes, costs are rising and that’s frustrating and difficult. But think about the recent election in Africa. A friend of mine is from Nairobi and she was so worried about her family and the violence that was going on. We were all praying for safety for her family. Election season can seem to concentrate so much on what’s wrong with our country, that people begin to forget what’s right about our country. The freedom to vote for our leader of choice is a great thing. I love this photo that I’m posting. Those are my exact feelings on this race: May the best man win. And may both men try to walk this road with dignity and respect. The rest of us should try it as well.