All too often we see political parties using religion as a means to get more votes. We also see Christian leaders using the pulpit to exercise their political opinions. But, who would Jesus vote for?
The mid-term elections may be over but the drama online hasn’t really simmered down. There are still political parties debating whether or not they agree with the outcome. Pastors and Christian leaders are still sharing negative blanket statements about how people should or should not vote. People are still tearing each other down based upon political opinions. But we’re still not listening to the people around us. How often do we hear people’s political opinions only to drown them out with our own opinions?
This week, Cody and I got behind the mics to talk about how to handle political discord. We talked about ways to communicate in an appropriate, respectful, and effective manner. We aren’t always going to agree with those around us. This goes far beyond just politics. But how exactly are we supposed to handle different perspectives?
Well, for one, we have to realize who the true enemy is. Sure, this may sound cheesy and overused in Christian jargon but it really is that important. When we stop acting like those with different opinions are evil, we are able to truly understand where the person is coming from. Most of us want the same outcome, we just believe in different ways of getting there. And that’s a good thing! We need more diversity. But what we don’t need is destructive groupthink. Not everyone is out to get you and not everyone who disagrees with you is bad. If we want true change, we have got to remember that.
We also have to learn how to listen. We have arguing down to an art but we aren’t a culture focused on listening and understanding. Everyone has a different perspective, even on the same line of issues. We forget that people have traumas and heartbreak. People view things differently because people have different experiences. It’s no surprise that we are going to have disagreements. But, we shouldn’t let our differences get in the way of trying to understand one another.
I think one of our biggest problems is that we place our politics above our savior. That may sound harsh but think about it. We’re always ready to talk about our political viewpoints but seemingly shut down when it comes to our Faith. Why are we sharing more about who we think the best political party instead of sharing who Jesus is? Sometimes, I think Christians put more Faith into their political candidates of choice than they do in Christ. Why is it that every time an election comes around, we flock to the internet to share who we think is going to save our country? Let that sink in. As Christians, we profess that God can save us, yet we glorify a candidate’s actions in office.
Sure, it’s great to celebrate political leaders. Absolutely pray for your leaders. But let’s not be quick to worship the ground they walk on. No matter who you vote for, we are all flawed people and I think we forget that. There isn’t an end-all-be-all political party to vote for. There is no “perfect” candidate just as there is no “perfect” solution to any of our problems. But I do think we would have a lot fewer problems if we were able to come together and listen. Truly listen.
That’s the beauty, isn’t it? Coming together and listening – It’s all about perspective and understanding. And once we have those down to a science, I think who we vote for wouldn’t be such a harsh thing to talk about.
So, who would Jesus vote for? I don’t really know. I don’t know how to answer that question. Maybe you do. But if there is one thing I do know of Jesus, He took time to love people. He took time to love those who acted and looked and spoke differently. Jesus didn’t argue with every person He encountered. He didn’t debate people on the streets about their experiences. If Jesus were here today, I don’t know how He would vote. But I do know that if Jesus were here today, He would take the time to try and understand those around Him.
We shouldn’t pigeonhole Christians to a specific party. And we certainly shouldn’t pigeonhole God.