The year of 2020 has been exhausting for everyone. And to top it off, we have another polarizing election process to endure. If you’re anything like me, you’ve recently said to yourself, “I can’t wait until this is over!” The constant stream of cable news activism, Twitter’s cesspool of constant debate, and the mud-slinging commercials are all overwhelming and somehow seem to bring out the worst in us as a nation and people. And now we toss in a pandemic, one’s perspective on data and science, and the use of masks and you’ve got yourself a full-blown cultural war.
Red state? Blue State? Democrat? Republican? Libertarian? Soft Republican? Switch over Democrat? We’ve been divided and subdivided just about as many ways as possible. The labels are many, the tribes are entrenched, and tolerance is now defined as ‘I’m ok with you if you agree 100% with me’. With all of these distinctions, is it any surprise that we function like anything but the UNITED States of America?
So how then do we, who follow Jesus, respond during this election season?
An important distinction in that question is what it says compared to what it doesn’t say. It doesn’t say react. Oh, how many are reacting. Jesus doesn’t want us to react out of emotion, fear, and anxiety. He wants us to respond out of love, confidence, and trust in who we are inside of His love for us.
It is so easy to become cynical and sarcastic when watching this primetime drama unfold. And in doing so, we miss a great opportunity to love with compassion and lead with civility. Deep down, I believe our nation is craving this kind of leadership. If we did, I believe we would seize an opportunity to demonstrate God’s love to others and discover a currently hidden gem in our democratic republic – the free exchange of ideas and worldviews.
Over the next few days I want to share a few brief thoughts, a quote to get us thinking, a Bible text to meditate on, and a prayer to pray. I believe these will help us navigate the choppy waters of the week of a presidential election in our country. There’s only 1 rule I’d ask you to adhere to: Don’t apply these to your candidate, the opposite candidate, your party, the opposite party, your tribe, or the opposite tribe. Go introspective and apply them to yourself. Ready to dive in? Let’s begin with Day 1:
Day 1: A Strategy to Respond Well
“Strategy for surviving the election season: Be 1,000x more tuned into what you read in the Bible and hear in your church than what you read on social media and hear on Fox or CNN.” – Howerton
Information overload, censorship, conspiracies, etc. It can be easy to jump on social media and be led down a dark trail for any perspective you want to affirm what you already think. Jesus told us that our mission on this planet is to make disciples. A disciple is someone who shapes, teaches, and forms us. As followers of Jesus, it is Jesus who does that. So, here’s a strategy for surviving the election: Don’t let the world disciple you, CNN disciple you, FOX News disciple you, a political party disciple you, Facebook disciple you, twitter disciple you. Let the Spirit of God use the Word of God to disciple you and make you look more like the Son of God. To respond well, you must discern well. Be selective what you allow to shape you.
Scripture: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Mt. 28:19-20
Based on the time I give to it, who is currently discipling me most?
Prayer: God, let me focus on your Word and truth. May I spend more time today in your Word than I do being discipled in the election. Holy Spirit, guide me, teach me, comfort me, and convict me. Lead me to look more like Jesus. In Jesus name, Amen.