Thus, The Mistake
This morning on the drive to work I made a big mistake: I turned on the local news radio station. I say it was a mistake because, while I wanted to hear the weather and traffic report, what I got instead was an argument between two political pundits on the opposite side of pretty much every issue that has sides to it. And as I listened to them argue on and on, I felt myself getting more and more tense - which was not the way I wanted to start the day. Thus, the mistake.
As I turned off the radio, I couldn't help but think about the condition of our world, and the fact that our current approach to political conversations can’t be how God wants us to live. Actually, politics is usually a subject I don't like to discuss because it is so divisive. But the reality is, it's something we are all affected by, and how we respond to political differences says a lot about where we are in our walk with God.
Here's what I mean by that statement: if our political views are causing us to look at people who disagree with us as stupid, or as the enemy, or with any other derogatory term we want to throw in there - then we’re actually the one in the wrong because that kind of thinking is sin. The book of Galatians tells us there are two ways to live - by the Spirit of God, or by our own sinful nature. When we live by the power of God’s Spirit, He produces in us love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. But when we live by our own selfish nature, the opposite is produced in us.” And in Galatians 5:19 the Apostle Paul tells us, “When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, your lives will produce...the feeling that everyone is wrong except those in your own group.”
So while it's okay to have strong opinions - even strong political opinions - if those opinions cause us to look down on other people, or if they separate us from folks who think differently than we do, then it is sin. Which means that, even when it comes to politics, a judgmental and unloving attitude is not from God - it’s from our own selfish nature. And it’s wrong.
This means that, as Christians, what we need to focus on when it comes to politics is making sure that we worship God, and not a political party. At the same time, we need to work to develop a biblical worldview in making all of our decisions - including who we’re going to vote for. But most importantly, we need to focus on extending love, patience, kindness, and gentleness to anyone and everyone who disagrees with us.
So today, let's ask God to help us do this. Let's ask Him to help us be good citizens of His Kingdom, by being good representatives of the King we serve. Let's ask Him to give us grace in all our interactions towards those we disagree with - not only politically, but in every area of life. And let's do this so that the world will know that the God we serve is not only full of strength and power, but also love and peace.