The 2016 election has happened. The campaigning is over (thankfully). The uncertainty of who will be in office has passed (even if there is uncertainty in how the President-Elect will perform). However, the debates and disunity are not. There are still many who do not believe their voice was or will be heard. There have been and will continue to be many jabs taken no matter whether your choice was elected or not. There will be many hurtful things said and posted. There have been, but hopefully not much longer, violent protests. So yes, our role in this election is over, but this season is not. Much could be said about what being a christian in this season looks like, but let me at least say these two things.
Forgiven Failures and Futre Holiness
Let the forgiven failures of our past be reminders to live for holiness in the present and future, particularly in the area of our words. For a while now I have been reminded, largely because of the “memories” feature on Facebook, of the many foolish things I have said. Many of those “memories” of statuses, some only a year ago, are marked by careless, insensitive, arrogant statements. I can’t tell you how many things I have been remembering that have left me thinking, “Wow, I really said that? And in that way?”. Yet, I know those statements have been forgiven in Christ. I trust Christ and His work in His life, death and resurrection. I enjoy that forgiveness and treasure Christ because of it. Not only do these “memories” serve as moments to enjoy Christ for my forgiven failures, but they also serve as moments to be reminded of the words I choose to use today and tomorrow. In the days post election and with the ease to say what we will on social media, we would do well to give heed to Proverbs 12:18
“There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”
There is no one immuned from the command implied in this passage. It still applies to you no matter how old you are, no matter how long you have walked with the Lord and no matter how you feel like you have been wronged. To treat our words as only trivial is a negligent mistake. To not obey even the implication of this passage is sin, and if sin brings death, then careless use of our words, insensitive jabs, pridefully gloating about how one was right and even complaining are deadening. Therefore, let’s see our failures of not being good stewards of our words, if applicable to you, as opportunities to press on toward holiness in our words today and tomorrow. And let’s ultimately use this season, whether glad or mourning, as an opportunity to build up the body of Christ with our words and with our words, take the gospel of Christ to those who need it.
The Same Ole’ Mission
The mission of the christian who mourns the new President Elect and the mission of the christian who is glad about the new President Elect is the same…”make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:18-20). Whether you wanted a republican, a democrat or some third party to hold the authority in the oval office, the One who has “all authority in heaven and on earth” calls you to “make disciples”. As much as politics matter and as much as they can influence history, take heart in that it also, only matters as much as it matters. Our ultimate concern, as christians, is to make disciples. Whether you are rich or poor…make disciples. Whether you believe the new POTUS will bring destruction to America or salvation…make disciples. Whether you believe the oval office would have been more suitable as a perfect circle rather than an oval….make disciples.
And this isn’t some empty, cliché, rally cry. Really! Consider what it would look like for you to make disciples. Do you have kids? Start there. Teach them about the gospel and how to live in light of that. Are you single? Leverage your free time to invest in your relationship with the Lord and consider who you might could disciple. Don’t feel like you are “ready” to disciple? Maybe not, but get discipled. Come to your leaders in our church and ask how you can be discipled on an intentional and consistent basis.
We may very well find that part of being a faithful christian is to be involved in politics, but let us be faithful to use our words as great stewards and let’s realize that politics are only a sliver of the pie of our mission as christians, which is to bring glory to God by making disciples.