I don't talk politics much. If I were completely honest, I'd say I don't talk about them because I don't understand a lot of it. I know the gist of it all and I do my best to stay informed. But it doesn't consume me. I'm not an activist in the political arena but I take my responsibilities as a voting American very seriously and do my very best as a busy wife and mother to make informed choices and vote according to my morals and values. But talking politics has never been one of my favorite pastimes and usually I avoid the subject out of a desire to keep unity.
That said, I have something that has been brewing in my heart that I feel I must say. Lately, since President Obama has taken office, I have been overwhelmed with something that initially I wasn't sure what to make of. I get emails that degrade him, see posts of disrespect and jabbings at him on social networking sites and even hear people put him down, roll their eyes and become very judgmental of what he is doing in social settings. I found the notes humorous at first, but then as time went by, I would read scriptures that would tell me that was not right (you'll see some of those below).
I almost kept my children out of school the day the President gave a speech because of emails and warnings I'd heard that told me that he was going to brainwash them. (On a side note, it was a wonderful speech and if the president "brainwashed" my kids into staying in school, taking personal responsibility and working hard, I'm thrilled). I did my due diligence and read the speech on Monday before he gave it, and found it to be very encouraging and something I believe my children needed to hear from a leader in our country.
I think that there is a feeling in the air that if you are an "Evangelical", you have to slander President Obama and put him down. I've even heard rumors in circles that he could be the Anti-Christ. Could we honestly be more disrespectful that we are? I mean, I don't agree with a lot of what he's doing, but he is the President. He's a human being who God created and appointed to lead our country at the present time.
I read what the Bible, our life-giving, truth-giving, personal letter from our Father in Heaven had to say about the subject. Please, take time to read this and let it sink into your hearts, asking the Lord to break down any prejudice, agendas or preconceived notions....
Romans 13:1-2 Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted and will be punished.
Titus 3:1-2 Remind the believers to submit to the government and its officers. They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good. They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone.
1 Peter 2:13-14 For the LORD's sake, respect all human authority - whether the king as head of state, or the officers he has appointed. For the king has sent them to punish those who do wrong and to honor those who do right.
1 Timothy 2:1-3 I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.
I will stop there, but want to express, also that if you look at the stories of the great leaders of the Bible - Joseph, Nehemiah, Esther, Daniel, etc...you will find that every single one of them respected and submitted to the authority that was above them. Because of their submission and humble attitude, they found favor in the sight of not only the kings and leaders, but in the sight of God and all without compromising their values and morals.
All this does not mean that we are to disobey God in situations where the law of man may conflict with the law of God (Acts 4:18-20; 5:40) but we are told to continue to respect government authority—even when those in positions of authority have abused their offices.
Could it be that we have it all wrong? Can we take a minute and examine ourselves? Please? For the sake of unity not only in our churches but in our communities and our country? Our hate and unloving jabs at our government are doing us more harm than good. It seems very divisive and contradictory to what we, as believers, are about.
We cannot ever forget that Jesus had His harshest words for the Pharisees (Religious people), not the "sinners". For instance, He tells the Pharisees in Matthew 23:23 "What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens but you ignore the more important aspects of the law - justice, mercy and faith. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things."
Could it be that in our quest to do the right thing, we have sidestepped an even more important thing? Are we showing mercy to those we oppose? Are we being loving in our approach? Gentle? Humble? Patient? Why are we so surprised when people sin and make wrong choices? Doesn't Jesus tell us specifically in Matthew 15:19 that "from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying and slander."? Maybe instead of putting people down and being angry, we could show mercy and faith in our God and pray for them so that justice will be served? We cannot forget who our battle is against (Ephesians 6) here - and it's not these people in leadership!
Honestly, I believe we tend to focus so much on what others are doing wrong and don't spend enough time and energy focusing on and living out what we know is right. We spend so much time fighting with people and instead, maybe we should be fighting for them, on our knees in prayer?
I pray God will forgive me for my attitude toward my leaders. I thank Him for showing me the scriptures and setting me straight. I pray He will forgive us all as we march forward in complete confidence that He sees everything and that He is in control. Of course, we need to be responsible and vote for what we know is right and stand up for Truth. But I urge you from the bottom of my heart - let's all respect and submit to our government and pray for our leaders, not put them down and disrespect them - for the LORD's sake.
Now maybe you can see why I don't talk politics much. (smile)
Daniel 4:32.....The Most High rules over the kingdoms of the world and gives them to anyone He chooses.