Are you tempted to get swept up into all the rhetoric, backbiting, political name-calling and the deep level of immaturity shown us by the media and the politicians of today? I know I am sometimes. Isn’t it interesting that Jesus lived under one of the most corrupt governments of all time and yet He was never distracted or drawn into their politics. He kept His focus by continually listening to His Father and obeying His voice. We could take a lesson or two from our Savior.
God’s word reveals, “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority accept that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted.” (Romans 13:1&2) Did this writer, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, use the word “rebelling?”
If God placed each, let’s say, president into office, could our anger, our angst and our temper tantrums over them actually be an act of rebellion against God? When we strongly confront others, call what they write propaganda and get into arguments over constantly changing “facts,” aren’t we essentially telling God that He doesn’t know what He is doing by who He is allowing into political office? Personally, I just cringe over some of the things that I read on social media, but our politicians and our media speak words of defamation as well. I really do not desire to be part of it.
It’s pretty clear from Jesus that the most important commandment is to love God and to love our neighbor first and foremost, but do you realize in that same chapter, Matthew 22, Jesus is confronted by the Pharisees with a political question asking is it right to pay taxes to Caesar? Jesus would not be trapped by them or caught up in an unrighteous conversation about the political leader of His day as He replied, “Show me the coin used for paying the tax…whose image is this…and whose inscription?” He then surprised them with these words, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”
Jesus was clearly revealing there are two kingdoms of which we function in both, this world with its governments and its leaders and, secondly, God’s kingdom. We give to both. As believers, we need to keep in mind that the kingdoms of this world are temporary and, therefore, our priority is the kingdom of God.
In light of this, here’s a question for you. If, when writing on social media, we use intimidation, disrespect of others and dishonoring them and their beliefs or thoughts, are we not engaged in a form of bullying? I have observed writers attempting to shut others down by their “facts,” but, honestly, most times it is simply because someone expresses a different opinion than they do.
A friend of mine was telling me that he was “convicted” to stop writing on social media this way, but still found time to “like” what others wrote which he agreed with. Once again God spoke to him and revealed that to “like” those words was the same as writing them. He ceased in obedience to the voice of God.
Jesus never placed political party or belief over relationship. If your relationships are being affected by differing political belief, then you are falling prey to the evil one and his tactics to cause disunity and division. Allow me to share some wisdom with you from Proverbs chapter 15.
- A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
- The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life…
- The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly.
- A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel.
- A man finds joy in giving an apt reply – and how good is a timely word.
So what can we do if we find ourself at odds with someone over politics? We could ask them why they feel the way they do in order to understand their point of view. Then we could ask if they would allow us to share our views. Perhaps we can arrive at the agreeing point of: America is broken and as Christians we are called to uphold the love of Jesus by seeking first His kingdom. “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.”
Are you willing to put your hostility, your divisive comments and your agenda aside so that you can place Jesus first? Ask God for wisdom; He gives it liberally. And remember these words of pure wisdom, “If someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way.” (I Peter 3:15)