The political division is incredible. The name calling. The condescension. The assumptions we make about the people who support the other candidate. It’s unfortunate.
We have so many news sources, websites, social media platforms, and “fact” checking websites, all to backup one’s adopted views. For many, more and more time is invested, which raises the level of interest (because you have to psychologically justify the amount of time spent following politics). It becomes a vicious cycle and fosters an environment of perpetual debate. It’s the most popular reality show in the world.
Because we are more constantly needing to defend our views, in arguments, we dig our heels in and we make these things out to be much bigger issues than they oftentimes are. We tie our happiness and joy to whether or not our person wins. We tie our hope for the future prosperity and potential of our society into whether or not our person wins.
And because people get so invested, it means million are going to become obnoxious and have a false sense of hope in the Messianic figure they’ve made their candidate to be. And millions more will think we’re doomed as a society, that our last hope is gone, that we’ve elected a dictator-to-be.
I think far too many people, on both sides of the political aisle, look at our politicians as saviors. We place too much hope in imperfect people. If your life is going great, it’s not because of the president. And if your life is terrible, it’s not because of the president.
I also see this within Christianity. Too many people of faith fall into the same traps that many in our society do. Of putting too much stock into politics. Of focusing too much on things that are far away and distant than things that are right within our own communities and neighborhoods. Christians need to understand that, regardless of which candidate you support – and I know many who support both major candidates – that if your candidate loses, there’s no reason to lose hope, because there’s no reason to place hope in any person.
That’s not to say we should be apathetic or oblivious to what’s going on in our world. But to remember that God is God, he is good, he is sovereign. Regardless of what happens in Washington, that everyday is an opportunity to know God and serve him. That regardless of if a politician we don’t like is in power, that this doesn’t hinder our knowledge of God. I’m not saying we should lie down and give up our rights, but to keep perspective.
I see stories of the oppression of people throughout the history of the world, and the oppression that many still face. Even in those times, God’s Church has grown. We put our comfort on a pedestal. The Bible continually talks of tests and trials. They’re part of life. It’s not that these things are good in themselves but that they don’t hinder our opportunity to know God and have faith in him. Again, that’s not to say anyone should have the desire to be oppressed, but I also feel like the things that Christians face in America pale in comparison to the things that God’s people face in other places and at other times.
There are many things that influence our lives. And Christians have a daily opportunity to live lives of faith, to model the love of Christ, and to tell people a message that transforms a soul for eternity (rather than a country for 4 years). There might be issues where we think a president will have great influence (and sometimes they undoubtedly do), but even when our candidate isn’t in power, it’s not a reason to give up. It’s a reason to get involved.
An updated version of “the next president is not a savior” from November 7, 2016.
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