This week at our Coffee & Scripture time, I felt that it was important to talk about the election (especially after such a contentious election as this one has been). How do we now respond as Christians? There are a lot of opinions going around. But I want to plead with you to let God’s Word set the pace of your life, not emotions. Does the Bible speak to elections and times like these? YES!
(1) 1 Timothy 2:1-2 says, “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions…” Will you pray for our elected and appointed officials (even those who you didn’t vote for or with whom you disagree)? Jesus told us in Matthew 5:44 that we must even pray for our enemies. Even if you have viewed Trump or others as your enemy, take to heart this quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He wrote, “Through the medium of prayer we go to our enemy, stand by his side, and plead for him to God.” Will you begin to pray today for your political enemies?
(2) Romans 13 says, “there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed.” Do you recognize that no election catches God off guard? In fact, God has put each of these people in place. Daniel 2:21 says that God “removes kings and sets up kings.” Rest in God’s sovereignty. Trust that He has appointed these people for this season (whether for His blessing or judgment).
(3) 1 Peter 2 says, “Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.” He goes on to say “Honor the emperor.” So as long as the commands and laws of government don’t conflict with God’s commandments, we are called to submit to our leaders. By submitting to the government, our behavior reflects Christ to the world around us. We are not to be a rebellious people toward our government. Don’t forget, the regime that Jesus lived under, and the emperor whom both the apostles Paul and Peter lived under were far worse and oppressive than our leaders will be, yet they submitted to their authority and HONORED them.
(4) In Mark 12:31, Jesus tells us that the second greatest commandment is “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Don’t be like the man in Luke 10: 29 who asked, “But who is my neighbor?” as if we want an excuse not to love someone. Donald Trump is your neighbor. Hillary Clinton is your neighbor. And everyone who voted opposite of you is also your neighbor. How are you going to demonstrate love to them this week?
As you seek to respond to the election in the days moving forward, I want to remind you to be Christ-like in how you live. Let the Word of God set the pace for you. Christians, be counter-cultural. If you voted for Trump, don’t gloat. If you voted for another candidate, don’t fear. Either way, remember that our hope is not in any human being who is elected in office. Jesus is the ultimate authority. Keep in mind that He is in the boat with us, even when the storms or difficult times arise. Trust Jesus and live on mission for Him today.