Politics and Priorities

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9-4-16

Politics. Election. Party. Candidate.

What just happened? Maybe your heart rate sped up and your palms got sweaty. I know mine do when I think about November. Now, this is in no way an endorsement of a party or candidate. If you want to discuss those, I have nothing against it, but that isn’t the focus of this post. I have very strong feelings about things myself.

I want us to think about the impact politics is having on us as Christians.

First, as we think about voting and the candidates, let’s think about it with Christ first. Maybe you’re a Republican, Democrat, or Independent, but the party with which you identify is not who you are. Those of us who are Christians are, first and foremost, followers of God.

As you are thinking about what you plan to do, think about sitting with someone and thoroughly explaining your choice. Detailing why you choose not to vote if you don’t plan to. Or if you are voting, going issue by issue and stating what your candidate of choice stands for. Go into detail about this person who you are putting your name behind.

Now, imagine that you have told all this to the Lord. Are you as confident in your decision as before? If so, I’m happy for you. You’re better off than me. If not, I’m still happy for you because you’re willing to think.

Second, let’s think about the impact politics is having on us as a Christian family. Think about the last three people you discussed politics with. Were they brothers or sisters in Christ? No problem either way. But if they were, how is your relationship now compared to before you talked about it? Hopefully you still consider each other friends. If so, I applaud you. If not, one or both of you need to repent and apologize. Now is not the time to let the outside divide us on the inside.

My family, this isn’t a laughing matter. The only institution that is guaranteed to still be standing at the end of time is the Church. We can’t afford to alienate our own. Christ’s blood is much too precious for that.

Most likely in November there will be a new president elect. The person we sat next to in the pew a few months ago will, Lord willing, still be sitting next to us. What then? No matter how the election turns out, our mission is still to take as much of this world to Heaven as possible. Will you and your immediate Church family still be in a position to work together and do that?

Colossians 3:12-15
Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.

Third, think about how the way we are dealing with the election looks to those who haven’t obeyed the gospel. There are people watching everything each of us does. When we talk to friends and acquaintances who aren’t Christians, are we showing a positive reflection of Christ? I sincerely hope so.

How about when people who aren’t Christians see how we are discussing politics with fellow Christians? Maybe we take it easier on those we aren’t as close to so we don’t offend them. Maybe that’s a good thing. But how are we treating our family? Because the world outside watches that. If we aren’t being considerate of each other, then why would they want to be part of a church like that?

After this election, however it turns out, there will still be a world out there who needs the Lord. Are we putting ourselves in a position to still be able to reach out to them? Are we avoiding chiseling canyons of hurt between ourselves so deep they are nearly impassable? I pray we are. Because after November, more then than now if it’s possible, we will need each other and the world will need to know about the hope of God.

Let us think about the election. Weigh what you plan to do as a Christian. And be careful how you relate to those around you. Whether we have a good or evil president or a country at all, let’s make sure we are still Christians.

May the Lord bless and keep you,

Heather

 

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