More than a few people have made online references saying this election season is the Season Finale of the show “2020”. If that is indeed the case, as Christians, lets end the show with a real plot twist and the ultimate surprise ending. Here’s the script…
[Scene 1] Do not engage in fruitless arguments.
Seriously. Don’t, just don’t. The temptation is going to be incredibly strong to voice discontent, frustration, and anger online about your feelings in regard to this presidential election, especially the voting process. No matter how justified you might feel, such activity will not change anything nor will it positively influence anyone directly involved or even passively watching or listening. The reality is this: no matter what the optics are, we truly don’t KNOW everything that has transpired which means emotions are being generated by speculation. Speculation, while probably containing varying elements of truth, almost always leads to a conclusion which provokes powerful and generally unhealthy emotions which ultimately foster resentment and bitterness.
Am I saying we shouldn’t engage in conversations about these issues? Not in any way, shape, or form! Before we do though, please consider the following scriptural instructions:
2nd Timothy 2:16 – “…avoid worldly and empty chatter for it will lead to further ungodliness.”
As much as I enjoy good memes like the rest of us, can we please admit that while they can be entertaining and can illustrate principle, they are mostly worthless for anything truly edifying. In my mind there is nothing in our world that defines “empty chatter” like the meme shots we take. But hey, they ARE fantastic at eliciting a defensive and antagonistic response.
2nd Timothy 2:22-24 – flee youthful lust…pursue righteousness…refuse to be quarrelsome
“Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels. The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged…”
One of, if not the most, powerful of youthful lusts is the lust to win an argument, prove ourselves to be “right”, and vindicate ourselves. In fact, within the context of 2nd Timothy 2:14-26 that is most likely the “lusts” Paul is referring to. Don’t strive to win an argument. Don’t strive to shut your “opponent” up or beat them down. Paul reminds us in verse 24 that we are the Lord’s bondservant; not the servant of our party affiliation, not the servant of our ideology. As the Lord’s bondservant make it your goal to pursue righteousness, that is, being right with God. If our goal is merely a societal morality that aligns with what we believe the Bible says we are falling far short. We must ask ourselves, how are we in our discussion of politics and political processes pointing people to the Savior by reflecting the Savior?
Instead of venting your frustration online, submit your emotions to the Lord. Cry out to the Lord. He DOES know everything that has transpired, both right and wrong. Read the Psalms. Find the heart of David as he asks God for justice and vindication and rests in the faith that God is above the nations.
Ephesians 4:26-27 and James 1:19-20 – Deal with your anger and don’t let it dominate you
Ephesians 4:26-27 BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity.
James 1:19-20 This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.
Are you angry over what has transpired? Fine. Anger is a God-given emotion. Spend your time seeking ways to be angry without being sinful. The effects of unrestrained anger have been plainly seen in our society. Just because you aren’t smashing windows at the local Best Buy and stealing a flat screen or lighting a police car on fire doesn’t mean your anger is squeaky clean and your indignation is righteous indignation. Your anger may not manifest itself thusly but that does not mean your anger is not equally destructive.
[Scene 2] Remember your calling – 1st Peter 3:8-12
To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. For,
“THE ONE WHO DESIRES LIFE, TO LOVE AND SEE GOOD DAYS,
MUST KEEP HIS TONGUE FROM EVIL AND HIS LIPS FROM SPEAKING DECEIT.
“HE MUST TURN AWAY FROM EVIL AND DO GOOD;
HE MUST SEEK PEACE AND PURSUE IT.
“FOR THE EYES OF THE LORD ARE TOWARD THE RIGHTEOUS,
AND HIS EARS ATTEND TO THEIR PRAYER,
BUT THE FACE OF THE LORD IS AGAINST THOSE WHO DO EVIL.”
If you are a follower of Jesus, a believer, the people of God, remember that you have been called to inherit a blessing; a blessing which will come in God’s time and in God’s way. Notice in this text the fullness of what Peter connects with our inheritance of God’s blessing.
*Not returning insult for insult (see also 1st Peter 2:21-24)
*Be a blessing
*Keep your mouth from evil
*Seek and pursue peace
This is where we exhibit the reality of our faith or the genuine lack of it. Do you believe God is sovereign? Do you believe nothing gets past Him? Do you believe He will deal with wickedness? Genuine faith finds rest while the world around us rages.
[Scene 3] Play our trump card – 1st Peter 2:13-17
Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.
Did you see what I did there? How clever of me. Seriously though, if ever there were a time to play our favorite political card, now is it.
We love this truth when the person we voted for wins and is in office. Now we get to live it. Now is when the world will see what faith looks like. Now is the time for faith to shine. Though the votes aren’t all in, Joe Biden has been declared the President of the United States. He is my president. Did I vote for him? Nope. Do I passionately disagree with much of what he and the Democratic Party stand for? Yep. As a citizen of heaven who finds my earthly citizenship in the United States, he is my president. If Peter can call his readers to honor Nero (who had no honor), we can give honor to the president elect of our nation, who by the way, we would most likely welcome if suddenly we found Nero as our king.
Trust the Lord, He is probably doing something you wouldn’t believe if He told you (Habakkuk 1:5). Our citizenship is in heaven; our King is not elected and will never be de-throned. Live like it and rest in it.
Let’s flip the script.