It’s an election year, and as you may have noticed, lots of things change during an election year. Political debates intensify. Tensions rise everywhere from the Internet to the dinner table. Our economy, our approach to the world’s problems, and even our identity can come into question. In the midst of turbulence and change, it can be hard to find to find something solid to grasp onto.
In all of this, God’s Word and God’s character remain constant. As the people of God, we are called to do the same. We live in a politically polarized world where everything we do and say has a political ramification. Especially in an election year, it feels like we move from one crisis to the next. The issues that are causing the anger and unrest are real issues. However, when these crises are politicized, these issues quickly become weapons of warfare. The truth (and often issue itself) gets lost in the shouting matches. We listen less, we speak more, and anger becomes a gut reaction.
Brothers and sisters, that is not the character of God, and it is not meant to be the character of his people. Our politics should be the politics of Jesus. Our ethics should be the fruit of the Spirit:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy peace, long suffering,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control;
against such there is no law.”
I always say that we all hold our politics passionately and personally. As God’s children, we are also required to put our politics beneath the authority of Jesus. “Love your neighbor” applies in this season, just like any other season (Matthew 22:39). Politics should never be an excuse for us to hate our neighbor, be a jerk to our neighbor, or mock our neighbor’s political views on social media.
If we are believers in Jesus, we need to act like it in ever realm of our lives, including the realm of politics. We serve the God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). That kind of faithful character is something we are meant to imitate. We ought to be people of genuine faith and loving action in our homes, in our workplaces, and in our politics.
The wrath of man doesn’t produce the righteousness of God (James 1:20), not even during an election year. Rather, it is the kindness and the goodness of our faithful God which leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4). That goodness is evident in the words and actions of God, but it should also be evident in the words and actions of his people—the Church. The world will know that we are his disciples, not by the passion of our politics, but by our love for one another (John 13:35).
Yes, it’s an election year. As the Church, our directive remains the same: put on Christ, walk in grace, and allow Jesus to transform us each and every day.