For the past few months, EVERYTHING on social media has pretty much revolved around politics. Who's more awful, more racist, uncaring, less genuine, less trust-worthy, etc. Many people were unhappy about the presidential candidates and unhappy with the election results.
Believe me, I get it! I was never a fan of either candidate, and I don't particularly love our new president. But you know what is driving me completely nutsy now? The fact that no one seems to know how to have any respect anymore.
I am well-aware that this will probably be my least-popular post to date, and I am well-aware that I am in the minority on this issue, but since it's President's Day, I decided now would be as good of a time as any to make the following statement:
If you are a Christian who claims to live by the Bible, then you need to be praying for our president and showing respect to our president.
I hate to break it to you, but it doesn't matter what political party you are a part of, or how many things about our president you don't like. If you claim the name of Jesus, then you are claiming to believe Him in all that He says to us, and you are claiming to attempt to live by what He says.
And do you know what He says about those who are in leadership?
And do you know what He says about those who are in leadership?
“Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, For wisdom and power belong to Him.It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men And knowledge to men of understanding."
1 Peter 2:13-14"Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God."
1 Peter 2:18-20"Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right."
"Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a man bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God."
As Christians, we believe that God is always in control. He isn't pacing the floors of Heaven going "Oh crap! What do I do now!" Instead, He's got a plan that goes far beyond anything that we can comprehend.
And the thing that sticks out to me in that truth is this: if God has a plan, and God ordains leaders for particular reasons, should we really be so upset and seething? I get being mad at the deeds of a leader you don't like, or at the injustices of the world- it's a human reaction. I get not liking a person's character or what they stand for. But you know what? Our president is also a human being with a heart, a soul, a need for grace, and a need for love. And no matter how much a person dislikes him, his policies, or anything he has done, God allowed him to be there for a reason.
The very same God that bled out on the cross for YOU and YOUR SIN chose the president. He allowed our president to be in office for a reason. So should you (and me) really be mad? Honestly?
The Other Side of the CoinThankfully, just because God allows something to happen, doesn't mean that He calls it "good". God allowed Hitler to become a ruler, but He did not call Hitler a good leader, good person, etc. In the same way, no matter who our president is now, four years from now, or 400 years from now, God is still the one who lets them stand in that position. (*ps- I'm not comparing our president to Hitler*)
God doesn't expect us to agree with our leadership on every little thing. It's okay to stand up for what we believe in and it's okay to think a leader is wrong on issues or as a person.
But here's what's NOT okay:Constantly brooding over who the president is
Calling him vulgar names
Calling those who voted for him vulgar names
Causing violent protests
Cheering on other people who are spreading hate, dissension, violence, etc.
Assuming the worst about every single thing the president does
Assuming the worst about those who voted for him
Acting like you are better than others because of your political stance
Hating our leadership in your heart and wishing evil on them
Really, this list could go on forever. I usually try to keep this blog a positive place and a place free of politics. But I have become so frustrated with Christians acting like the world is ending. I have grown tired of Christians who act like Trump is God (what the heck, people!), and I have grown tired of Christians pretending it's suddenly okay to act like hate-filled children just because they don't like the president. I'm just tired.
Friends, I agree. There are a lot of things I don't like about our leadership. But I trust God, I trust His plan, and I trust that He has a very good reason for allowing Trump into office.
News Flash for the MassesNow, for those of you nodding your heads, saying "amen", and silently condemning those who disagree, remember that all that I said above would have still been just as true if Hillary was president right now. You don't get to pick and choose your head-nods and "amens". You either agree with what I just said or you don't.
And for those of you who are fuming over this post, I would simply ask you to consider why you are mad. Are you mad because my argument is unscriptural? Or are you mad simply because you don't like what I'm saying and don't want it to be true?
Ideas for Showing RespectThe truth is, no matter where we stand (left, right, moderate, confused, etc.) if we claim the name of Jesus, we are called to respect those in authority. But how do we go about that when there is so much turmoil? Here's what I believe we can do to respect any authority figure no matter who they are or how bad their behavior is:
-Pray for them, their family, their life, and their soul
-Choose to love and forgive them in our hearts (this doesn't mean we agree with them, it just means we are choosing to let go of hatred and wishing good things for them instead).
-Reject and stand against all acts of violence directed towards them
-Refuse to participate in character slander (again, character slander is different than disagreeing with their policies, stance, or way of life)
-Refuse to assume that all their motives are bad.
-Give them the grace that Jesus has given us
Thank you for sticking with me on this one and reading all the way through. My goal in writing this is not to condemn anyone, but rather to get everyone thinking about how they handle authority.
Even though I used the president as the basis for this post, the things I talked about in this post are true for any authority figure. So whether you are a student and have a teacher you cannot stand, are stuck with a terribly rude and inconsiderate boss, or cannot stand the mayor of your small town- it doesn't matter. These principles apply either way.
So today and always, choose love, choose grace, and choose respect- even for those who just don't seem to deserve it!