As human beings there are some things we can all agree on. We all like clean air. We all like to do things that interest us and we all have personal needs like the need to be loved. Then, there is a huge list of things that we don’t necessarily agree on, but can be cordial about. Religion and Politics are not on that list.
As the election gets closer, there is this knot that appears in my stomach on a much more frequent basis as I open up my computer and log into Facebook. You know the scene…friends from so many different walks of life with unique backgrounds, religious upbringing and moral standards all together on one page letting their voices be heard about anything from what they are doing at that very moment to what they are eating or about to eat. Oh and also, why they hate a political party and their chosen candidate for the upcoming election. And maybe why they sort of hate you now because, you just disagreed with them about your political views….
Ok, so you know what I’m talking about?
Should we care about politics? Yes! Jesus was political. But his kingdom was not of this world. He had one laser focus while on this earth and that was to seek and save the lost and make disciples (Matt. 28:18-20). He knew he would be leaving soon and it would be their job to seek the loss and bring them to Christ. He cared about the needs of those without much and continually urged his followers not to stockpile their goods, but to give to the poor. He was an advocate for the weak. He was also a threat to the government, because the masses became interested in his message of hope and he received a large following. But, his message didn’t comply with the “religious” leaders who loved rules, so they quickly turned him over to the governor to be killed. (Matt.27)
He experienced approval one moment while feeding 5,000 people who ate up every word he said, but forgot to pack their own lunches. And then he experienced the lowest approval rating of all time when some of those same people yelled, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
As disciples of Christ, we are called to live on this mission that Jesus left us with. This looks different for each one of us and because God is so creative, we share him in different ways around this world. So, you get to influence other people than I do. My friend, Julianne is taking Jesus to children in Uganda. My friends, the Waller’s have seen whole villages in Madagascar who had never even heard of Jesus come to know him as their Savior. My friend Anne speaks to women around the globe and yet the message is still the same and at the heart of it, is God’s love for all people. We too, can share Jesus even when Politics and Religion are being discussed. You might be given an opportunity to share Jesus with someone because of the way you handle yourself in these passionate political situations.
So have these difficult conversations, but listen more. Show concern for those who think differently than you. Stand for the truth!! But love with the kind of love that only God can give you as you strategically live out this mission during election season. And of course, don’t forget to VOTE!!