Time to Decide

I would like to preface this post by saying that the desire to do this post began a few weeks ago; and with the Draw Closer Series completed last weekend, the desire to do this post arose again. What kind of post is this you may be asking? I think everyone across the United States of America—no matter what age you are—is aware that the talk of 2016 has been primarily about the Presidential Election. I do not need to tell you who the candidates are, and what THEIR DRAWBACKS are. You know about most—if not all—of it.

Regardless of your opinions (negative and/or positive) concerning the main party candidates, you WILL NOT BE READING in this post about MY SUPPORT for either person because, frankly, I am NOT A FAN OF EITHER CANDIDATE. Before you ask, I am not a fan of any third party option either. As I reflect on what this election season was about, one word comes to mind: divisive. Why is there a need for one party to be right while the other party has to be wrong? The reality is that no party is right all the time and no party is wrong all the time; both sides can/should meet in the middle.

Let me use an example, say you are married and your spouse is ready to have a child, but you are not ready. Your spouse’s argument is that when you initially married, you both agreed to start a family at this time in the marriage. Even though, you two did agree, at present, you do not believe that financially you two are ready. What should the spouse’s reaction be? Restate their point of view or ask what about the finances is causing you to put a pause on having a child? If you guessed that the latter should be the spouse’s response, you are correct. At some point during the discussion, there will have to be a little something called COMPROMISE. The spouse will have to do the compromising in order to settle your concerns; for instance, you two work on a budget that cuts down on unnecessary spending and increase savings for the next year.

Compromise is a crucial component to a successful relationship, but is neglected when it comes to the three branches of our government (legislative, executive, and judicial). Yes, both main political parties have their points, but the problem that leads to the constant division stems from so many being stuck in their own viewpoint that they are unwilling to STOP, LISTEN AND UNDERSTAND THE OTHER SIDES POINT OF VIEW. I love the verse in the Book of James that discusses listening. James says, “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,” (James 1:19). I want you to notice how James adds anger after his instructions on listening and speaking. Why is that?

What happens when you try to get a point across only to have the person you’re talking to respond by discussing their point and nothing else? Be honest; wouldn’t frustration stir within you that can quickly shift to anger? In response to not being heard, don’t you then restate your point; and therefore, ignore their point? Now they get frustrated because you aren’t listening to them, and you’re frustrated because they aren’t listening to you. This is exactly what is happening in politics!

You may or may not agree with the points that I laid out, but you might be thinking that there is nothing you can do about the divide in our government. As Christians, we can do a few VITAL things. The first is expressed in Romans 12:2. Paul urges,

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

The first nine words in this verse explicitly state that we should not ACT AND REACT LIKE THE WORLD does. If we do, how is that being a light for Jesus Christ? In terms of this election, instead of being like the world who can be quick to insult and judge those who don’t support the same person that they do, be respectful of their choice EVEN IF THEY DON’T RESPECT YOUR CHOICE. That doesn’t mean sit there and take the insults being thrown at you; sometimes, it is best to walk away. What it does mean is being calm in what may otherwise be an intense argument. Remember we are not to judge (Matthew 7:1-2 and Luke 6:37).

The second thing as Christians that we need to do is VOTE. Too many Christians sit on the sidelines in the voting process. If you are a citizen of the United States of America and old enough to vote, then use your privilege! Still, I do understand why there may be some hesitancy to vote this time around. Even so, please remember that the president and vice president are not the only reason to vote on November 8. For example, you vote for who will be your state’s senator, you vote for who will be your district’s House of Representative, and there are state amendments that you will be voting on. I think as we decide who to vote for, we each need to SEEK GOD about who he would want us to vote for up and down the ballot. As James 1:5 says,

If any of you lacks wisdom [to guide him through a decision or circumstance], he is to ask of [our benevolent] God, who gives to everyone generously and without rebuke or blame, and it will be given to him.”

Please do not let your decision for who you vote for be based on loyalty to a party or because one person is not as bad as the other one. As you take a final look at all candidates, allow God to show you who you personally need to vote for.

The final thing, as Christians we can do is PRAY FOR OUR PRESIDENT. In 1 Timothy 2:1-4 and 8, Paul says,

1I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.”

The inclusion of verse eight pertains to November 9th and beyond. Regardless of who becomes the new president, we all have the choice to be bitter and/or angry with whom the new president is or we can accept that the new president is our new president and pray for him or her. Pray that God surrounds whoever it is with those who have wisdom from God and use those that the new president is surrounded by to draw the new president closer to God.

Now I have to caution you, if you do choose to be bitter to the point of not accepting the results and despising the winner, you will be doing what the enemy (Satan) wants. What do I mean? Well, Jesus explains what happens when there is division. It says, “Jesus knew [the people and the Pharisees] thoughts and said to them, ‘Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand’” (Matthew 12:25). The enemy wants us to believe that our enemies are one another or an opposing party INSTEAD of him.

The final passage for this post that I want to show you does not come from the Bible; it was written by Martin Luther King, Jr. After reading it a couple of weeks ago, it has stuck with me because the words will continue to be true until Jesus Christ returns. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote,

It is evil we are seeking to defeat, not the persons victimized by evil… As I like to say to the people in Montgomery, Alabama: ‘The tension in this city is not between white people and Negro people. The tension is at the bottom between justice and injustice, between the forces of light and the forces of darkness.’”

The difference between the world and us is that we know who the true enemy is. Therefore, let’s be examples in our families, in our friendships, and in our communities of what love and empathy looks like. Let’s pray for those currently in authority and those who soon will be, and let’s be respectful with our words about them. Let’s pray for a meeting in the middle between the main parties, and lastly, let’s go and vote.

All Bible verses are from Amplified Bible, Holy Bible: New International Version and New Living Translation

Below is the Link to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Article that I Referenced.

http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=468

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