November 3, 2020. For 4 years, it’s the day Americans have been waiting for. Either to re-elect the current president, or to vote him out. Voter turnout was higher than ever before in early voting and I have no doubt that at the end of all votes being tallied, this will be a record setting election.
In the days to come, this polarizing election will finally be over. Bless it. But when it is, our real work will begin. Because on both sides passion is strong, emotions are raw and victory seems like the only satisfactory outcome. But one side will feel tremendous loss.
And this is the place where we get to show up. See, if the guy I voted for wins, I get to pray for him until we start this election cycle again. I get to reach out to those who feel the loss greatly and work to keep division out of my relationships and just be the best example of Jesus that I can be.
If the guy I voted for loses, I get to pray for the winner until we start this election cycle again. I get to reach out to those who feel the victory greatly and work to keep division out of my relationships and just be the best example of Jesus that I can be.
If I’m being honest, many in the church have represented Jesus so poorly in the last 12 years of presidencies. When the church felt like they lost at the election of Obama, the curtain was pulled back to reveal the ugliest, least Christ like parts of the church. Racism showed itself. Suddenly “Christians” took to social media to tear apart the appearance of a family. 4 humans that were made in the image of a God who loves them deeply and feels ever single racist, hateful, critical statement that was made about them. So many in the church behaved as if the God of the universe was actually controlled by one single person sitting in one single position in one single country. It’s as if so many in the church held their faith in the presidency more than than in God himself. And rather than work to bridge divides, bridges were burned. For 8 years.
When Trump was elected 4 years ago, so many in the church were the most ungracious winners. Rather than working to bridge divides, an effort to double down on burning bridges was the order of business.
Let me be clear here. This wasn’t (and isn’t) the whole of the church. I’ve been so privileged and blessed to walk along side Christ followers who don’t put politicians above people and who believe firmly that the God who created heaven and earth doesn’t lose power based on America’s political choices. Who love well. Who serve well. Who show up. Who see people hurting and don’t stop to check political affiliation before stepping in to help. Who lose with grace and win with even more grace.
As we enter these days where we’ll find out who will sit in that little house on Pennsylvania Avenue for the next 4 years, can we as those who say we love Christ remember a few things?
Grace upon grace. There’s not a single one of us that isn’t in dire need of grace on a regular basis. Yet so many wouldn’t give it to someone “different” if salvation depended on it. What if God’s standard of grace for you was based on your standard of grace for others? Some would be left high & dry and some would covered for a lifetime. Choose grace.
He would love first. Remember years ago, the WWJD bracelets that were all the rage? The answer to that question? He would LOVE FIRST. He did love first. And loved ALL. Even those who didn’t agree. Even those who didn’t follow. Even the one that sold him for silver. Even the ones that nailed him to the cross. Choose love.
Let’s go back to pre-school. If you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all. It’s honestly that simple. If something you’re about to post on social media were said by someone else about someone you’re fiercely protective of, what would your gut reaction be? (And, hi, don’t get all high & mighty here and try to pretend that you wouldn’t have a protective reaction. You would and you know it.) If you wouldn’t be ok with someone saying it about someone you love, don’t say it about someone else. Choose kindness.
God doesn’t need you, me or a president. Can we behave as if we believe God really sits on the throne in heaven? Because what I’ve seen from many in these last weeks is that too many Christians have more faith in who is or isn’t president than they do is the ONE that is actually in control here. Like the whole kingdom of God will crumble and fall if their person isn’t elected. Did you know that regardless of who sits in the White House, you can be a kind and good and loving person to your neighbor? Like Jesus would want you to do? Did you know that just because your person doesn’t win doesn’t mean God’s will wasn’t accomplished? Did you know that sometimes what you think is right, isn’t? God doesn’t need anyone of us to accomplish His plans and purposes. Let’s quit behaving like a single person controls the will of God and the outcome of his Kingdom. Choose God.
Tomorrow, next week, next month, next year you & I will still have highs and lows in life. No president can change that. Sure policies can add to or take away from our stress. But thankfully, the God I serve is bigger. Can we approach these next years as if we believe that our God is bigger? As if we believe that His plans & purposes always prevail? As if there’s still a world that needs to see Jesus represented well? Can we approach these next years walking with people and loving them well?
Love the Lord with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself. It’s that simple. Let’s do that and we’ll see the America we want to live in.