What Now? How to Live After the Election

It was a rough political season. Tuesday was a hard, divisive election. Now we are dealing with the emotional, draining aftermath. At least we are on the internet, specifically social media.

I cringe before going on Facebook right now. If you read my other election post you will know that I have hidden a bunch of my more political friends. Still, my news feed is full of political articles, political comments, and political arguments. Do you know what I see and feel on Facebook right now, even from some of my Christian friends?

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Hatred, Fear, Worry, and Pride. Christian brothers and sisters, This. Is. Not. Right.

Hatred – For some reason, people seem to think that they can post awful things on social media that they would never say face to face. I have seen so many harsh, judgmental, rude, condemning comments. I have heard sweeping generalizations. People are ruthlessly fighting. There is very little love.

Fear – So much fear is being expressed on social media right now. Terror, really. It breaks my heart. Also, since I grew up in a fear-based cult, I know first hand that people who are afraid are easier to control. It’s not good.

Worry – Another way to describe worry is “borrowing trouble”. People are creating scenarios that are currently not true. Rather than focus on this beautiful fall day, where the sun is shining, and the sky is blue, people are consumed with “what if’s” that might happen.

Pride – When we feel that we are smarter, or more intellectual, than others, when everything seems black and white to us, or when we refuse to try and see from someone else’s perspective, that is pride.

The only one winning in this wildly stressful scenario is our enemy, Satan. The Bible calls him “the father of lies” so let’s fight him with the truth.

The TRUTH:

  • God is still the same as He was on Monday. He has not changed. He is not surprised at the results of the election. He has not lost control. We might not understand why He allows things to happen, but He has a purpose for everything.
  • The Bible is full of less-than-stellar leaders that God used anyway: Samson, the womanizing judge, Saul, the angry, sometimes possessed, first king of Israel, Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon who took God’s people into captivity, etc. God will work His will through whichever messed-up person happens to be our president. It’s not like He hasn’t done it before.
  • This world is broken. The people who live in it are all broken. We will not have a perfect society until we are being ruled by King Jesus Himself.

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Feeling powerless is never a comfortable thing. It’s scary! So, what can we do if we don’t like the President-Elect, or if we can’t convince other people that our way is right, or if someone is telling us that we are ignorant and multi-phobic?

Let’s CHOOSE to control the only thing we can: ourselves.

  1. Choose grace: What would happen if we were willing to give everyone the benefit of the doubt whether or not our ideologies agree? Instead of making broad assumptions and condemnations, what if we choose to give grace? Instead of typing or texting or saying something, stop and think if it’s really necessary, if it will build up those who read/hear it. We need to remember that all people were created in the image of God, and He loves them and died for them (just like He did for us).
  1. Choose humility: None of us has the “perfect perspective”. The lenses through which we see life are affected by our past, our present, our personality, etc. None of us are smart enough to see the whole picture alone. We get the clearest perspective when we are able to hear from multiple people with different views, when we are able to share and listen without judgement or assumptions.
  1. Choose truth: We have an enemy, friends, and he wants to destroy us. His lies are sneaky and they often sound like our own thoughts. Have you been hearing things like “This is hopeless” or “Everyone is against me”? Those kinds of thoughts are not from God. The enemy wants to destroy you. Don’t let him! Choose to reject lies and fill your mind with God’s truth.
  1. Choose love: In a world that is increasingly filled with hate, choose to act with love. Reach out to others, including strangers, with a smile, a kind word, hold the door, etc. Choose to love your friends and family in tangible ways. Loving others also includes holding your tongue/fingers. Is that social media argument really necessary? Probably not.
  1. Choose gratitude: Instead of focusing on everything around you that isn’t going your way, instead of being frustrated by the people who don’t agree with you, choose to be thankful. Enjoy the blessings that God has given you such as your family, friends, home, possessions, this beautiful fall weather, etc. We have SO MUCH that we take for granted every day.
  1. Choose trust: You might feel like life is out of control, but God never loses it. Instead of freaking out, place your hope in a God who is bigger and more powerful than you could ever imagine. Rest in His Sovereignty and the fact that this world is not your home. Dream of heaven and life forever with your Savior.
  1. Choose mental health: If Facebook or Twitter or other social medias are stressing you out, if the news is triggering anger or worry, then I have a suggestion. Close your computer. Turn off your tablet or TV. Set down your smart phone. Take a walk, grab a coffee with a friend who won’t talk about politics, or get a massage to work out those tense muscle knots. Live your life! Make cookies, refinish some furniture, read a book with your children, recognize that your actual life has not changed. And, if it does someday as a result of this election, God is still on the throne!

Remember, no matter what, Jesus is still Jesus, the Gospel is still the good news, and God is still in control. Christian friends, let’s choose to believe truth and act with love and grace.

It Doesn’t Matter Who Wins the Election

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People are so worked up and stressed out about this presidential election that the American Psychological Association has identified a new disorder. They are calling it Election Stress Disorder. If you think I’m joking, check out this article.

I’ve tried really hard to stay out of the chaos. I’ve almost completely resisted being political on social media, and I’ve unfollowed some of my more political friends. (Sorry, guys!) But as the election looms in just three weeks, and we will be forced to choose someone to be president, I’d like to remind all of you that it doesn’t really matter.

It doesn’t matter who wins the election. Seriously, in the grand scheme of things, God’s scheme, it doesn’t matter.

Stick with me for a few minutes.

  • In the history of our world there have been many nations and civilizations with bad leaders. There is nothing new under the sun. It is not the end of the world. We will survive.
  • The United States is not a “special” nation appointed by God for anything. We are just one of many nations in the world. Contrary to what some Christians claim, the United States was never even a “Christian” nation, whatever that means. The US was begun by theists who respected God and the Bible, but were not necessarily living in active relationships with Jesus. Certain types of Christians (Cough, like the cult I grew up in.) have perpetuated myths about our founding fathers. If we never were a Christian nation, we cannot stop being a Christian nation. Not to mention I’m not even sure if it’s healthy to be a “Christian” nation. Let’s save that for when Jesus rules the world.
  • Also, while we are talking about Christian myths, the US and Israel are not synonymous. We cannot take promises God made to Israel and claim them for the US. We are not God’s holy people. (Another thing I grew up believing.)
  • There is nothing in the Bible that says God gave Christians the job of “morality police”. We are not supposed to be running around forcing our morals on other people through the government or otherwise. We cannot expect a culture that has rejected God and the Bible to follow Christian morals. It is okay if the culture is a wreck. It was a wreck in the 1st century and the new believers stood out like lights in the darkness. Not because they were running around, freaking out, yelling about morals, but because they knew Someone who made them different, and they were full of love, peace, joy, etc.
  • If our culture continues to be a wreck, it’s not a bad thing. It’s actually easier to share the message of Jesus with someone who is broken and has never heard of it before than it is to share it with a “moral” person who thinks they are good enough or are already familiar with Christianity. My brother-in-law and his wife spent the summer in England last year sharing the gospel with college students at a university. They couldn’t get over how interested these young atheists and agnostics were to hear what they believed as Christians. So, bring on the darkness! Let’s be lights!
  • Jesus is coming back, you guys! This world is not our home!! So we live here for a few years and maybe our comfort level isn’t as high as we’d like. Oh well. We get to be with Jesus for eternity! And, we have the privilege of sharing His amazing message with others while we are on earth. It’s okay.
  • While we are talking about losing our comfort, let me give you a hint…we are ridiculously comfortable as American Christians. We are so comfortable that we have a hard time having a genuine relationship with Jesus because we are distracted and satisfied without Him. When have I grown the most spiritually? When I was going through trials, or when I was doing “without” such as living at camp or on a mission trip in Haiti. We could all do with a little less comfort. It won’t kill us. (And if it does, who cares? We get to be with Jesus!)

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We absolutely should vote and be a part of this process. But in the end, if our choice doesn’t win, it doesn’t really matter. Jesus is still Jesus. The gospel is still the good news. And God is still in control!

We still have a purpose: to enjoy the relationship with God that Jesus provided through His death. We still have a mission: to share the good news of Jesus with the world. We still have a future hope: eternity with our Creator in the most amazing place we can never imagine.