How to Love Politicians Like Jesus Would: In 3 Easy Steps
With the ongoing presidential elections many hot topics have come to the forefront. From Kim Davis, to Gay Doritos, Planned Parenthood and Black Lives Matter. All seem to have their perception of right and wrong. But how do we navigate our way through this as prisoners of hope? How can we be problem solvers and light givers in the midst of so many domestic problems?
1. Change the Target
My first instinct is to change the target. If you love Jesus and speak with him on the daily you know this: For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. -Ephesians 6:12
This means our enemies are not certain politicians who try and pass evil policies. Our enemy is not even the policy! Our enemy is the principality in which that policy is rooted. They could be a number of things from fear to self bitterness to resentment and anger. All of these things hold true in the case of these policies, so what are the roots of the reasons people are passing these policies. That is our job as believers to find out and expose.
2. Change the Discussions
So much of what is discussed when talking about political issues becomes personal. And for good reason. These issues are deep seated in who we identify as. But when discussions move from personal to insulting there is a need to fix the discussion. For example:
Person A: “I can’t believe you’re not Pro-Choice!”
Person 1: “I’m sorry. The facts just don’t allow me to support something that has provided so many deaths specially when P.P is getting paid as much as McDonald and Microsoft and they’re ‘non-profit’.”
Person A: “I’ve had an abortion. Do you not support me?”
Person 1: “I never said that. I love you. You’re my best friend.”
Person A: “It doesn’t seem like it.”
This is all just an example. I’ve seen variations of this play out in every topic you can imagine. Supporting and loving someone is by definition being able to tell them that you don’t agree with what they are doing and still love each other. My uncle is a blatant agnostic/skeptic. When we hang out he questions me up to wazoo about the authenticity of the bible, why I live by it, how I believe creation and at the end of the day…we love each other. I lived with him for two years, he taught me how to shoot a basketball, he is going with me to pick out a car in a few weeks. Support and approval are not the same thing. He didn’t approve my decision to give up all things to follow Jesus but he supports ME 100%.
These hot button issues have to become discussions about policy and facts, not emotions and feeling. We need to learn to say, look if you want to call me names and accuse me of something because I don’t agree with you then there is no need to discuss this but if you’d like to actually talk about facts then lets do this.
3. Change the Perception
Its not about painting people definitely good or bad, and comparing them on a moral compass of humanity. It is about the policies and ideas presented by these flawed individuals and how they line up to our lives. We tend to paint someone as a bad person all around because of a terrible thing they have done, or a terrible policy they endorse forgetting that we are all measured up to the same standard of perfection and none of us make it. Jefferson Bethke says it well:
“But the truth is, God doesn’t grade on a curve; He grades on a cross. Trying to be good enough to earn heaven is like trying to jump to Hawaii from the coast of California. Everyone looks like an idiot. Some get three feet, some get ten feet, some drown, but no one even gets close to Hawaii.”
Of course, there are requirements for Presidential Candidates, we can’t leave that aside. However, putting our noses in the air and yelling stupid liberal corrupt Nazi every time Hilary says something snobby is not a Christlike model for politics.
Jesus is not looking down on the American presidential election hoping that the Republican party will prevail and get their stuff together. He is with us, in every believers heart desiring that we speak for and act on what is right. Not by shaming, bullying and degrading the character and person of the person who is standing for the policies they believe in, but by being agents of change. Through one on one acts of love. Acts of service and demonstrations of our values. Relevant magazine talked about Christians needing to stop boycotting things and I agree. Morality is suggestive in todays world, repaying evil for evil falls on deaf ears the only thing we can do is repay good for evil. Hmmm…I wonder where I’ve heard that before?