Yesterday I exhorted the pastors and leaders, today its the lay persons turn. We are a few months away from electing the next POTUS and we are about to be waste deep in the always politically charged election year. Every 4 years in America we turn into these ravenous creatures that start lots of fights on Facebook, burn bridges with friends all to put our hope and trust in a leader that we will never meet, who will realistically not really fight for half the stuff we believe in.
Where I would like to exhort Christians is in two main areas. First, don’t put your hope and trust in an earthly leader, put it in Jesus. Now I know you have heard that before, but unfortunately like many other issues, we are educated beyond our level of obedience. We know it in our heads, but we don’t live it our in our lives. Its amazing to see people get so enraptured by their particular candidate and they just think, “If I put my hope in this person, my life will get so much better, our country will get so much better, the world will get so much better!”
Its not true, we all long for change in our lives, but the truth of the matter is, no matter how hard you campaign, no candidate is going to change your life. Change starts on the inside and moves out. Put your trust in the leader that can actually change your life regardless of who is in office, Jesus.
Secondly, as a pastor it grieves my heart to see people completely give their lives to politics (not in the vocational sense, in the sense of how it captures your heart), make extreme sacrifices and completely neglect their local church. I would like to firmly remind you, that we are a citizen of the kingdom of God far before we are a citizen of our particular country. The two don’t even come close in their importance if you were to compare them side by side. We will acknowledge this intellectually, but it doesn’t change our behavior. This is where the problem lies.
We lose sleep over particular issues, we send out email after email of forwards bashing a particular candidate, we tweet about it ceaselessly. Meanwhile our neighbor next door, our co workers, classmates and friends are on their way to hell and if we are honest, our actions show that we do not care for them at all. This is completely backwards and sinful. The only answer is to repent of our sin, and give our lives to the kingdom of God fully.
I am not saying don’t be involved in politics, vote, I sure will. Campaign if you like, but watch what your heart gets caught up in, watch where you begin to put your hope and trust in. If you find yourself being more discouraged about the state of our republic more than your heart being burdened by the things of God than you need to repent of where you put your trust, politics has become an idol.