Imagine a huge earthquake hits the Northwest; buildings collapse, people are injured, food and electricity are sparse, and getting fresh water is an incredible challenge. I can predict that everyone in every community would attempt to work together, side by side, to care for the needs of those within their reach. I can visualize people opening their homes, sharing what they have, and lending emotional support. As humans we have a natural tendency to set aside our differences in a crisis. In a crisis situation the most important focus is helping people regardless of race, gender, income, spiritual beliefs, and yes, even political persuasion.
However, in this heated political season folks with opposing beliefs, are engaging in critical commentary, vicious responses, and fierce accusations between themselves. There is hateful rhetoric flying freely and I am left to wonder, “What’s missing in this season?”
Recently I listened to a great message by Andy Stanley on this very issue and he brought to light what is missing:
The generation that’s coming along behind us are going to take their cue from us. And here’s the cue we’re giving them: ‘Oh my goodness, if we don’t get the right person elected in office, it’s the end of the world. If we don’t fix the economy, it’s the end of the world. If we don’t have religious freedom like my mamma and my grandmama had religious freedom, it’s the end of the world. …
“Nothing could be further from the truth. Government matters. Policies matter. But neither of those matter as much as men and women who understand this word: Faith“
Politics have always been dicey, there’s always been a tiring season of speeches, advertisements, and promises made. I remember hearing the same things when I was just a little girl watching the news with my parents. Politics have always created conflict.
My concern is the division we allow it to create in our assumptions that in this process God doesn’t still call us to love people, to speak kindly to others, and to give grace to one another. I imagine He actually wants us to apply theses things in even greater measure.
“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back.”Luke 6: 32-34
This is a season for us to remember two things:
- God is still in control.
- People really matter.
Andy Stanley’s final quote was this:
“Republican, Democrat, left or right, we’re all precious in His sight. This political season is an opportunity for us to showcase our political diversity in a way that honors The God who made us so diverse. If we get this right, we’ll learn something. We’ll become a more generous and loving people. If we get it wrong, we’ll be an average church.”
How has this political climate affected you? are you anxious? fearful? angry? disengaged? Perhaps it’s time to take a step back, catch your breath, remember how fortunate we are to “get” to make a choice, and choose to trust in God’s promises again.
“Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6