In November of 2017 I voted for Donald Trump. My BFF, sister in the Lord, voted for Hillary Clinton. We both opted for “the less of the two evils”. We discussed our stances, understood our differences, and agreed that both candidates were less than perfect…well, imperfect…(well, I wish I had lived in Costa Rica at the time). It’s been one year since we’ve cast our votes and neither of us would change our vote. And one year later we are still very good friends.
How in the world, and why, would elections destroy relationships, especially if Jesus is the common bond?
I have been challenged, hated, unfriended, and cross examined in the throes of election selection. I’ve seen family members shun me because of my pick. I’m sure the situation has been vice-versa in many of your lives, too.
But the question remains: Who exactly do I trust? Who do you trust? And if our ultimate trust is in our sovereign God, then why would we even be distraught over the outcome? I mean, if we truly are Believers, then weren’t we praying over this election anyway? Don’t we pray over every election? Every important decision we make?? I prayed 4 years ago and 8 years ago and 12 years ago (you get the point), and some outcomes were favorable in my eyes and some were not. I tried not to let it destroy me and I would hope and trust that others who are loved by God would come to a similar conclusion…that is, God allowed (and maybe even directed) the outcome.
So what are we fighting for??
While thinking about this topic, God led me to (no lying here…) Galatians 5, you know, the chapter containing the Fruit of the Spirit? Well, there is a counter to this fruit…it’s the “works of the flesh”. I recently thought I’d actually look up words like “discord”, “dissensions”, and “factions” that are contained in this passage. Well, to my surprise these words pointed to the very point I’m trying to make. And that is that we are destroying our “fruit”…the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control… that the Spirit desires for us when we act according to the flesh.
At the risk of sounding teacher-like, can I just define some of these words? (Thanks…)
Discord: 1) Lack of concord or harmony between persons and things, 2) Disagreement; difference of opinion, 3) Strife; dispute; war, 4) An inharmonious combination of musical tones sounded together, 5) Any confused or harsh noise; dissonance. (sounds like a migraine!)
Dissension: 1) Strong disagreement; a contention or quarrel; discord, 2) Difference in sentiment or opinion; disagreement.
Factions: 1) A group within a larger group, party or government, organization, or the like, 2) Party strife and intrigue; dissension.
So, here’s the scripture that I was referring to: “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality…20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy… and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” –Gal. 5:19-21
Does any of the above remind you of any of our meltdowns due to our political differences? And if so, can we agree in the Body of Christ that there is no place for such hatred, discord, dissension, and factions? Maybe the rest of the country will throw stones at one another, but from what I remember, Jesus told us the “greatest of these is LOVE”. We are “called to peace”. And check this out: I Timothy 2:1-2 – “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” (I know, this is starting to sound like a bible study…maybe that’s not such a bad idea seeing how caustic our relationships are turning).
Can I suggest that we remind one another Who is reigning royally? God has not abandoned us, even when we don’t see our imperfect human candidate leading our highly-blessed, royally messed-up country. And loved one, can we pray for our leaders? Sounds archaic, huh? But the very One who sits on the ultimate throne, the One who sets up kings and takes down leaders, the One who eternally loves the liberals and conservatives, the moderates and the extremists, is the One and Only who can do for our country what no White House woman or man could ever accomplish!
I submit that we reach across the aisle, take the hand of a politically opposing sibling in Christ, and agree in prayer that in our limited perspectives, we are completely dependent upon God to work in individuals’ lives for change that is in line with His will. My friend and I continue to pray this way and our love and respect for one another has only deepened.
So, at the risk of sounding “political” I hope you heard more of the “logical” and “biblical” because my intention is for the Body to not become “dysfunctional” (ok, I’ll end it here, as not to sound too “comical”!)