Four years ago, I joined many others in sharing my thoughts on who should and should not sit in the Oval Office. My comments were intentionally sarcastic, with the sole purpose of making sure those who read it knew they were wrong and misinformed and that I was right. Passion, often described like a “fire”, is a wonderful thing when the end goal reaches far beyond the moment and when the passionate person realizes there are several “tomorrows”, once the moment has faded.
I look back at those posts – the times I shared carefully selected clips – the moments when I jumped on Facebook to comment, as if the world waited with bated breath to hear what I thought about the words and actions of Gov. Romney and President Obama. I look back and I shake my head in disappointment at myself. Not because of my “passion” or because of my political views, but because those things were my focus…my fuel for the better part of two years. When I could have been pouring my time, my energy, my words, my passion…and most importantly my faith towards those things — things beyond the “reality” of social media….I squandered an opportunity to speak truth and to pour into the lives of those I have the privilege of knowing. I limited my reliability and availability the “day after”, by those I had unintentionally and willfully alienated, just so I could squeeze in one more video clip…one more political joust.
For those who read this, and share in the treasure of God’s amazing grace, let me say that we’ve got to stop this madness every time there is an election. This belief that unless a certain candidate is put into office, our nation will never experience the great awakening it so desperately needs. Have you and I become so polarized by cable news and the enlightenment of our own posts that we forget that revival begins in the Church? Could this unsettling time be God’s way of stirring you and I to action…not to another endless debate on social media but to repentance and to the place of surrender to God’s calling on our lives for the Kingdom? We can’t claim the sovereignty of God only when our candidate wins. We have to realize the great damage we inflict on our present and future testimony for the Lord when we say that our candidate isn’t as bad as the other – and we overlook things this election that we wouldn’t overlook in another candidate, from the other party, at another time…more importantly, actions and words, we know in our spirit, that breaks the heart of God. Friends, I am not saying that our choices make the decision for who should lead this country any easier. Let’s look beyond being right, though. Let’s remember that God establishes those in authority over us, that their elevation and decisions are not a surprise to our God (Proverbs 21:1), and that He commands those who call Him Lord to “honor the emperor” (1 Peter 2:17).
I cannot look back at my posts four years ago and say that I honored both candidates running for President. And, like you, I had my self-righteous reasons for doing so. But God’s call to honor those in authority over us does not an include the caveat “if the person is of the same political party, if they believe what I do, and if I voted for them.” November 9 is fast approaching. Four years ago, I can tell you that several of my Facebook friends sent me messages about my very negative posts – saying how disconnected they were from who they knew I was…and from the faith they knew I held so dear. I’ve hidden several of those types of posts and ads from many of my own Facebook friends this election cycle. With a great deal of continued prayer, I asked God early on to help me to be more passionate about the people I encounter…speaking truth into their lives and encouraging them…then sharing political thoughts. We pay lip service to the statement, “People over politics,” but it really is true. And what’s even truer…perhaps sobering…is that you and I have the choice from this point forward (particularly on November 9) of which will be the investment we choose to make.