Election season is in full swing. Tensions are high and opinions are on display through yard signs, bumper stickers, and social media rants. Every campaign ad is trying to pit the candidates against each other. It is clear the United States is once again facing an election of historic proportions.
How should Christians navigate the divisive political terrain? Is there a way to model the love of Christ while holding on to biblical convictions? Is there a way to not lose your mind?
During this election season, the most important thing Christians can do is get alone with Jesus. Sadly, some of you read that last sentence and felt slightly annoyed. You may have thought, “How can he say something so basic in the midst of a historic election? We need to get involved in the process; we need to let our voices be heard; we need to unite as a nation; we cannot afford to be silent; we must act!”
The truth is, we cannot afford the absence of God’s presence. Without the Lord’s involvement, nothing we do will be of any value regardless of who gets elected.
I’ve seen it plenty of times. After the election, there will be division; there will be wars and rumors of wars; there will be economic downturns; there will be an attack on the institution of marriage and family. Biblical values will be taunted as oppressive and archaic. Nothing will change except the intensity of our contempt for the other party.
Jesus, however, offers us something far better. He offers something no election or political party could ever produce. He offers us peace. He tells us not to let our hearts be troubled or afraid (John 14:27). He promises to be with us (Matthew 28:20).
Jesus is ruling and reigning today and forever. His rule has no term limits. We can rejoice because there will never be a day when He is not on His throne. Furthermore, Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
I’m not suggesting that Christians should stay out of the political arena. I believe every Christian should vote for candidates who best represent what God has revealed in His word; however, your political candidate is not Jesus and cannot deliver you the way Jesus can.
We desperately need to spend time with the one for whom and through whom all things were created (Colossians 1:16). We need to know the deepest longings of His heart instead trying to fulfill our own. Spending time with Him will produce in us a peace that surpasses our understanding (Philippians 4:7).
In the midst of our busy schedules, finding time to rest in His presence can feel impossible. However, if our hope is to overcome the angst of this political season, or any season for that matter, we must diligently fight for time to engage with the lover of our soul. There is no substitute.
The Power of Prayer & Scripture
There are several ways to engage with the heart of God, but I can think of none more important than prayer and Scripture. Reading the Bible and praying should never become uninteresting for a Christian. In the Bible, we possess the very words of God. In prayer, we get to talk with the Creator of the universe. What could be more exciting than that?
Unfortunately, many of us allow the demands of our schedules to rob us from practicing these disciplines. Praying doesn’t have to be complicated. Start by setting aside ten minutes a day. Use that time to talk with God. You can ask Him anything. He loves when you come to Him. You can also spend time thanking Him for all He has done for you.
The same is true for Bible reading. If you’re not sure where to start, consider starting in one of the gospels. The gospels recount the life and ministry of Jesus. They are found in the New Testament and include the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Try reading a chapter or two a day. God will meet you there and you will be blessed by the interaction.
Think about it. We have access to so much power. God wants to pour out His Spirit on all who seek Him. Because His Spirit lives in us, we can hold to our biblical convictions while respectfully disagreeing with those who differ in opinion. We can navigate this election season in such a way that our gratitude grows, regardless of the outcome.
Will you commit to praying and reading Scripture with me through the election? What if we prayed for our leaders, even those on the opposite side of our political views? After all, Jesus commanded us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44).
This election does not have to cause you unrest. You do not have to lose your mind. You are a child of God and will receive a beautiful inheritance in heaven.
Don’t wait a second longer. Get alone with Jesus and be transformed.