I do not and will not have political debates, and even in "conversations" I choose to be mostly a silent listener and not participate much. I don’t think I’m shrinking back, I choose this with purpose for many different personal reasons! I love when some people rightly debate, converse, and discuss these hard topics and do it well. I am thankful for them. I learn from them.
Most of my stances I keep to myself and will continue to do so. However, there are some things I ask myself and work to hold onto. As you read through, ask yourself some of the questions I ask myself. Here they are:
I vote every opportunity I can.
Living overseas most of my adult life, I actually work hard to vote—through absentee voting. It isn’t quite as easy as driving to a poll and standing in line. Voting truly is a privilege (my personal belief)! Every vote counts! Voting makes a difference. Are you thankful you can vote? I am!!! Here is an interesting take on voting/not voting.
I will submit to authority the Lord has put over me. I will not be found talking badly or disrespecting any candidate or office holder.
I do my best to obey, submit, and respect all of those that the Lord has put in authority over me. NO, I do not agree with everything. NO, I do think some of them are not worthy.
"Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust." 1 Peter 2:18.
"Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people." Titus 3:1-2
One thing I know, God is sovereign, and He has commanded us to "be subject and submit for the Lord's sake to every human institution whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors." 1 Peter 2:13-14.
Also and especially Romans 13 and 1 Peter 3.
Having said the previous, I will "obey God rather than man." (Act 5:29)
I pray I am firm like Peter and the apostles, and that may mean that I have consequences one day if one in authority commands or does not allow what God commands, but I will obey the Lord no matter what authority is in place. Oh, Lord, may it be so!!! Also see the book of Daniel--where he, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did this so incredibly well and respectfully, accepting their consequences of a lion's den and fiery furnace!
"If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all." Romans 12:18
In political conversations, are you working as hard as possible to be at peace?
"I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them." 1 Corinthians 9:19
Are we trying to win people to Jesus more than we are trying to win them to our political stance, party, or opinions? This time of year, there are so many conversations, arguments, and discussions about politics. Here is a good question to ask, "Do I have as many conversations about Jesus as I do politics? Do I try to win people to Jesus as much as I try to win my stance and make my point?"
Prayer is so important! Do you pray like you believe it is important? Do you pray for ____________ (insert candidate, officer, ruler, or person with whom you are debating)... More than you argue with them? More than you talk about them? Do you really pray for your authorities? Can you pray for the Lord to work in YOUR and their lives?
Do you pray for our country? Do you pray for the election? Do you pray for the lost?
"First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." 1 Timothy 2:2
My friend and a Fitness for the Field supporter, Casey Grooms has written a beautiful and great prayer guide called "Non-Partisan Prayers" that prompts us to pray for specific groups of people until the election. There is also a place to journal through each day. I encourage you to check it out and consider praying through it. I have already printed my copy and am praying through.
Finally, Look to Jesus!
...the author, founder, and perfecter of our faith. Governing and religious authorities is part of Jesus' story. Throughout Biblical history and throughout the Gospels in Jesus' life. They are some pretty important characters in His story. How did He treat them throughout His life and especially in his trial and sentence to death? Jesus was faced with injustice, wrong accusations, a government that listened to people more than God. He was humble! He entrusted Himself to God.
Other things I remember!
1. God is sovereign. Psalm 47:9, 135:6
2. I am living for another country. My citizenship is in heaven. 1 Peter 2:9
3. God will get His glory, and sometimes He uses good and upright leaders and sometimes He uses unjust and sinful leaders. Just to name a few from scripture--Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, Pilate (and there are also others from history!) Trust in His sovereignty! Even when it seems He is not working or "His side" is losing, He is always working and always Sovereign.
I find these so comforting!
God is in control. This is NOT my home. He will get glory!
"For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned?
My glory I will not give to another." Isaiah 48:11