I am sad today.
It’s not because of who did or did not win the election. While our leaders are important, they are mere men and women. I do not put my trust in them. It’s not because of who supports what issues. Again, these are important, and I am thankful for the freedom to support the issues that are dear to my heart just as they are dear to my Lord’s.
I am sad today because I am witnessing the attitudes of many hearts, and there is such malice and hypocrisy. I say that humbly, as I do not think of myself higher than I ought to. I violated my rule of staying out of political speak via social media today. I inserted myself in two “discussions” that I perhaps should have kept out of. However, I did so respectfully, with kind words, and provable facts, when appropriate. I received hateful speech and senseless remarks in return.
I perused my friends’ facebook pages just now. I wanted to see what they have said and what they have received. I viewed both my left friends and my right friends, both of whom I have a deep respect and love for. Some of their speech saddened me. Some of the speech against them amounted to nothing more than cruel opposition. Seemingly, if I want to be well-liked, I should be silent, wishy-washy with my beliefs, or agree with the majority. However, I refuse to be silent. The Bible commands us in Proverbs to “speak up for those with no voice.” In Deuteronomy it tells us to keep the commands of the Lord, bind them on our hearts, and instruct our children all day and all night. So, I cannot keep silent about what is on my Maker’s heart. But I promise to be respectful, to be kind, to be humble, and to have listening ears before I ever formulate the words to come out of my mouth. In the end, there is one truth and that is the Word of God. That is a standard I am committed to live out and teach my children. While I am not easily offended at those who disagree with me, I am saddened by those who take such quick offense.
My oldest son has followed in his mother’s politically charged footsteps so far. You see, a secret dream of mine is to hold an elected office one day. It could just be a pipe dream, or it could be something valid that is waiting for me down the road. Until then, I have kept up with all that is going on around the world, participate in reasonable political discourse, and educate myself about subject matters I do not know. I was a political science major in college and probably should have continued on to receive additional degrees in that area because it is such an interest of mine. But the most important job I have right now is to teach my children what government is, what its intended function was, and what God’s heart is for this amazing country that we live in. I want to teach them how to stand firm to what they believe while being kind and respectful. It is possible. But it takes some guts. You know what they say, no guts, no glory!
Here’s what we have taught our children, including our politically charged 5 (almost 6) year old…ahem, in my own words.
Government is man-made, but it is God-ordained. Look back into the Old Testament. Moses was a busy man! He was trying to figure out his way through the desert, trying to feed all these people following him, trying to listen to God…and trying to fix all the problems that were occurring along the way. We often think of him holding up his staff and parting the
Red Sea, but he was also
sitting and listening to “she stole my linen” and “he fed my livestock the
wrong food” and “how should we set up camp at night?” Because he was growing so
weary with all the crazy things that we all feel are so important to us, Jethro (his father-in-law) suggested setting up
a government. He didn’t just leave it at
that. He gave some good, guiding
words. He told Moses that he should
first teach the people the principles of God’s laws. God’s perfect order is our governing standard. Next, he said the people need to exercise
proper self government, again in
alignment with God’s order.
Self-reflection and solid family discussion was arguably required for
proper self government. For all other
matters, Moses was to appoint Godly men to handle the issues in each of the
tribes that made up this wandering nation.
Years later, the people tired of trusting a King that they could not see and asked for a king that they could see. I get it. It’s hard to trust someone we read about and feel in our hearts, even see the effects of in our lives, but have never seen with our eyes. Saul came along and was anointed king. Follow the Old Testament through the rest of time and you will see why God reluctantly granted such a request. Once we have something we can see, we rely on it more and more. Thus, government evolved.
Now, there are some gray areas of life and there are some not so gray areas of life. I’m not going to get into any specifics. But, I believe that the Word of God is amazing for providing answers to all matters, big and small, providing you seek those answers out using some wisdom. God asked Solomon, King David’s son, to name one thing that he would want God to give him. His answer? Wisdom. God was so pleased with his answer that He gave him an immense amount of wisdom, and also wealth, fame, and prosperity to him and his people. Sounds like wisdom’s a pretty valuable commodity for a leader, huh? God’s Word addresses many of today’s issues, as they are not new. Solomon himself said that there is nothing new under the sun…thank you wisest man in history, you are correct.
Here’s the good news that my son reminded me of this morning. The veil that separated the presence of God from the people in the Old Testament was torn when Jesus died on the cross. He is now accessible. No more are we prohibited from accessing our King. In a way, we are no different than the wandering Israelites. We want the assurance of following someone we can see, feel, and reason with. Being involved in the political process is so important and it is a privilege. But we must remember that there is One we cannot see that rules and reigns over all, and who will lead our leaders with accessibility to His heart in ways that the people of the OT could not fathom. “I praise you Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.” Mark 11:25
Here’s what my kids would tell you (hopefully) if you asked them about the election. We must obey and respect our leaders, and we must do so joyfully. But we must bow down and honor our King. We must trust Him with our circumstances. We must pray for our leaders and all the people in our nation. And here’s the truth: there are things occurring in our country today that I believe grieve the Lord’s heart. We must grieve with Him and ask what we can do. There are things not occurring in this country today that I believe should start happening. If we ask for wisdom and understanding…if we listen and obey…if we set our hearts onto things eternal and fix our gaze on our King…if our hearts break for the things that break His…we will know His love and His favor, just as the people under Solomon’s reign enjoyed.
Whether you are leaning to the left or the right, whether you are pro- or con- fill in the blank, you are a child of the most high God. I stand on the only thing I know is true: His Word. And as I stand, I promise to be kind and respectful to you. I promise to not assume you are ignorant or uneducated. I am expectant of the same treatment. I promise to be an ambassador of Christ who is full of love, grace, and mercy. I am thankful for each one of you, opinions and all, because at the end of the day, when we stand in glory, our hearts are what matters.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.: