“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7
It’s November… Another election is going to finally be over tomorrow. We will have new representatives, the phone calls will stop, television commercials will end, and yard signs will disappear. For this we can be thankful.
But many are afraid. Christians and non-Christians alike are fearing for the future. What happens to this country if – fill in the blank—gets elected? What about Supreme Court justices? What about immigration, healthcare, taxes? What about religious freedoms, economic inequality, race relations? What about terrorism?
I get it. These elections polarize us against one another. They convince us that one side is completely right and the other are the enemy. They tell us that if you disagree about an issue, you have no value. They shout that everything is a conspiracy from the other side to destroy our values.
But stop for a moment. Whether you read this before the election day or after…
"That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life-whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. "So don't worry about these things, saying, 'What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?' These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6
The world can change around us, but we are reminded that we are to have hope. We don’t have to fear, we don’t have to be anxious, we don’t have to be depressed.
So what do we do in the wake of such an election; such a divided country; such a tumultuous time?
First, we keep our eyes on Christ. We seek out His Kingdom over and above the kingdoms of the earth. That means we do the things that Kingdom people do. We love our neighbors, even when they voted for the other candidates, disagree on issues, or just drive us nuts. We try to be a positive, hopeful influence on the people we’re around, because our Kingdom is not of this world. We live out generosity to people that need to see a generous Kingdom.
Second, we pray. I don’t always know how prayer affects the outcome of things, but I know that when we pray we please God. He wants to hear from us. And our prayers change us. If I’m praying for the new representative—even if it’s the one I didn’t want—my heart changes toward that person. It’s hard to want bad things to happen to a person you’re praying for. And as we pray, we take Jesus’ advice to ask God to make things here on earth look more like heaven.
Our witness as disciples of Jesus isn’t tied to who we vote for or which party we agree with. Our opportunity is to make an impact on this world through the way we live out Kingdom values no matter the outcome of elections. Let’s choose not to be afraid together.