Politics and Christ-Followers

This may be news to you, but we have an election coming up in a few days.

That’s funny, right? As if anyone could have escaped the continual bombardment of political ads, political news, political outrage, political posts from friends (and probably from quite a few newly-no-longer-friends-because-how-could-they-possibly-be-okay-with-THAT-guy-becoming-president), political arguments, political signs, political rallies, political texts, political calls, political EVERYTHING…

Politics is first and foremost in most of what we see these days…and in many of our minds and hearts, too.

But here’s the thing.

If we’re Christ-followers? It shouldn’t be.

Our purpose on this earth is not to get a certain person elected, or to convince anyone why red or blue is better.

Our security doesn’t lie in who does (or doesn’t) become (or stay) President of the United States.

Our peace does not depend on which political party has the most power.

Our future does not rely on the laws that are passed or repealed in the next four years.

In fact, as wonderful as America is (not perfect, no, not by a long shot — but seriously, compared to so much of the world? Yes, wonderful), “American” should not be an essential part of our identity. Our citizenship is God’s Kingdom! And that one IS perfect!! Not fully fleshed out yet, not fully revealed yet, but it’s coming, and it’s PERFECT.

I’m not saying we should ignore all the politics (although I will confess that would be my strong personal preference). We are told to be involved, to seek the welfare of the city we live in (Jeremiah 29:7). And maybe politics is a way we can do that..but I don’t actually see a lot of political concern set as a precedent by Jesus or His followers in the Bible. So, maybe there is more to ‘seeking the welfare of the city’ than politics. Maybe politics is actually one of the lesser ways we might accomplish good. Maybe the good we seek to accomplish through politics, or wish we could see accomplished through politics, could actually be more fully achieved another way. 

Maybe spreading the Kingdom of God, sharing Jesus (the actual Jesus, not just cliches and platitudes), actually loving and supporting and helping people, in real life, here on the ground — maybe these things are more important and more impactful than politics could ever be…because, while politics might impact behaviors, behaviors do not impact anyone’s eternity.

Morality doesn’t save people. Only Jesus does that.

Maybe realizing that the political leadership of this nation is nothing compared to God, is no surprise to God, is actually set in place by God (Romans 13:1) and will be used by God for good (even if we don’t like it or don’t see how); maybe living under the knowledge that God is, really and truly, FOR us, and is working to draw others to Himself for their good, and intends for us to be part of that; maybe embracing the reality that the Kingdom of God is actually more real and more lasting and more important than any political happening; maybe joyously resting in the fact that we belong to God before we belong to any earthly country, and that our purpose is to be helping bring others into His family, His Kingdom — maybe these things will help us see where our attention and efforts are best spent, and help us to grasp the peace and security and joy and purpose, all found in God Himself, that He has for His children to enjoy and to share. Maybe these truths can overshadow our preoccupation with politics, and release us from the political weight we may find ourselves living under.

So as we go into the coming week, let go of the stress of who might win.

Let go of your worry over the direction our country may be headed.

Refocus your attention on the One who placed each star in the wide universe, and who created you (and our presidential candidates) on purpose, and who isn’t worried about November 3rd or what it brings.

Set your heart on Him, and on loving those around you (even if they are on the other side of the political spectrum). Love them well. Share Jesus with them; show them who He is by how you treat them.

Rest in the grace and sovereignty of Jesus. Be at peace, and spread peace. Your future is secure. Your destination is set. God’s Kingdom is unshakeable. Let the peace of that wash over you. And let’s re-center our focus back to our main objectives on this earth: loving God, and loving people.

Regardless of what happens on Tuesday, regardless of what happens the next four years, God will get you safely Home (2 Timothy 4:18).

And maybe you can help bring some more people with you.

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