Lions and tigers and bears aren’t nearly as terrifying these days as donkeys and elephants.
The election is finally here and I have to ask, do any of you ever want to experience another election year like this one?
I absolutely do not. That a lot of us have differing opinions about how best to achieve the collective good isn’t the issue. It’s the level of hatred people have chosen to embrace because of them. Hate tempts us to crank up the volume on our anger until the reason behind our opinion can no longer be heard.
I may not like or agree with an ideology that goes against my faith, and I should hate its effects on the human heart. But I have trouble hating the human being behind that opinion. Call me crazy, but it seems counterintuitive to defend my political views as being in the best interest of mankind while hating a portion of mankind who might disagree with me.
In a sermon I listened to recently, the pastor reminded us that we aren’t to see Jesus through the lens of politics. We are to see politics through the lens of Jesus.
Romans 12:17-21 sheds light on what is required of us as Christians, even when the rest of the world is behaving poorly.
“Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as it depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Don’t get me wrong. I have a lot of things I’m not agreeing with right now… but that’s a topic for another time.
My question today is, if we don’t want a repeat of this hate filled year again four years from now, what do we do differently?
Perhaps if we stopped acting like--or encouraging those who do--a room full of teething two-year olds with diaper rash fighting over the last teething biscuit, we might find a way to cut those teeth, heal that rash, and make more biscuits.
Let me share some truth about myself. I did not vote for President Obama, and I did not wake up after the election hating those who did. Here’s what I did do. On the day before the election, I woke up, had some quiet time with the Lord, made breakfast for my family, and went to work doing what I always do— the best I can to do good work in a way that pleases the Lord. That evening I came home, spent time with my family, thanked God for another day, and went to bed.
On the day of the election, I woke up, had some quiet time with the Lord, made breakfast for my family, and went to work doing what I always do— the best I can to do good work in a way that pleases the Lord. That evening I came home, spent time with my family, thanked God for another day, and went to bed.
Guess what I did on the day after the election? The day when the candidate I supported didn’t come away as the victor? I woke up, had some quiet time with the Lord, made breakfast for my family, and went to work doing what I always do— the best I can to do good work in a way that pleases the Lord. That evening I came home, spent time with my family, thanked God for another day, and went to bed.
I did vote for President Trump, and do you know what I did the day before the election? Yes…I live a pretty predictable life. I did the same things listed above, and I did them again on the day of the election, and on the day after the election.
Want to guess what I’m doing this year? With the exception that the kids are no longer home for me to make breakfast for or spend the evening with, I am doing the exact same thing I do every day. Why?
Because the One who governs my life doesn’t need an Electoral College to give Him authority. Polling places and ballot boxes don’t alter the purpose God has given me. They don’t change what is wrong or right or dictate the level of my faith.
As important as it is to know what I will be doing, I also want you to know what I won’t be doing on the day after the election. I will not be crying in defeat or boasting in victory. I will carry both of those results to the Lord and ask for His guidance in moving through the next four years.
Unless the rapture comes, I still have a purpose to fulfill here on earth that is not overridden or invalidate by the results of an election.
I will not throw a fit on social media nor will I go there to insult or make fun of those who voted differently than I did. I will not resort to yelling and name calling for anyone who disagrees with me. I will not be rioting or looting or destroying the property of others (or my own in case you’re confused about that).
And I absolutely will not wait for four more years before contributing to the change I want to see in this country and this world.
I love this country and I am proud to be an American. I am deeply honored and humbled by the men and women who have sacrificed their lives for the freedoms I have. No, we do not have a perfect past, and we certainly don’t live in perfection now. But if that is what you are expecting a government run by imperfect people to give you, you are destined to live in disappointment. There is no perfection this side of heaven.
So no, I don’t love America because I think she is perfect. I love her because I believe there is a heart deep within her that beats for the good of mankind, not just here in America but all of mankind.
Perpetuate the hate, and we’ll kill the heart.
I will defend this country in every way I can with every breath I have, but I will not participate in tearing it apart in bitterness and hatred.
I will respect a different opinion, but I can't respect the hatred of this country that I love-- a country that has given me the freedom to honor God and to serve Him.
"The most important thing is to bring people to Christ - the second most important thing is to preserve the freedom to do the most important thing." - William J. Federer