While every election year carries with it some degree of angst, it seems the lines of division affected believers more than I’ve personally witnessed in a lifetime. Facebook and other social media platforms were on fire! Unfriending went to a whole new level. Name calling and accusations about one’s character flew like a high school cafeteria engaged in a food fight. May I remind you these are adults I’m talking about…and not only that, the body of Christ.
Controversy amongst the Church is nothing new—I get that. In fact, the book of Acts is a clear picture of imperfect people living out God’s grace. So I’m not trying to beat up on anyone. But I will attempt—in my own small way—to bring us back a couple of notches based on two important facts.
We are not defined by the party/person/cause we stand behind.
This is a reminder that even when someone else doesn’t agree with us and they stand behind a particular candidate, issue, or whatever the situation…it does not define who they are as a person. If we are going to be a representative of Christ, we must love others—even if they don’t share the same beliefs we do. We also need to remember that what we think isn’t necessarily “better” or “holier” than someone else. We can be sincere in our beliefs and still be sincerely wrong. Yes, this goes both ways.
The “right fight” doesn’t promote grace and love. The shouting doesn’t promote respect for mankind. Perhaps our focus should be on prayer…seeking God for not only His will over this nation but His control over our thoughts and words.
Let’s not forget that believers don’t all fit into the same mold. Our experiences, backgrounds, and even the level of intimacy we have with Christ is going to impact our thinking. Instead of taking inventory of where someone else stands, let’s prayerfully consider the condition of our own hearts.
Finally, while it’s tempting to take a stand for an issue or a person, let’s put that energy into taking a stand for God’s Word and His truth. And let’s treat others with dignity and respect—regardless if we agree with them.
God remains in control.
Regardless of outcomes, God still remains on His throne. Even if we do face tough times, we are not without help. Fear is an absence of faith. It can also show where our faith truly lies—in a party, a candidate, an issue—when it should be in Jesus Christ.
Fear is also a strong indicator of how we will react toward others. I don’t know about you, but when I’m in fear mode, I can get kind of snippy and sometimes downright angry…oftentimes it’s misdirected. But when I’m operating in faith, I speak kind and edifying words. I display compassion and understanding.