It is election season in Canada, where I live. The signs are out on the lawns and along the road. The politicians are having their debates and going door to door. The pundits on the news and in articles are voicing pleasure and concern–who won or who lost the debate, or which candidate dirty past faux pás is the most damaging.
The big telltale sign that there is an election happening…
It is that time when everyone is sharing the articles and expressing their opinion toward each candidate.
What shocks me is the verbiage I hear and see Christians use when speaking of someone. I understand the politics can be dirty. I get that the decisions our leaders make, affect our lives in very real ways.
I hear words like,
People expressing sentiments about wishing said politicians had never been born.
When I reflect on Scripture and words of Jesus, what I see is that these sentiments toward politicians are un-Chrisitan. I feel quite safe saying, anti-Jesus.
Genesis 1 states that we were all created in the image of God.
Psalm 139 says that we were created in our mother’s womb by God.
Jeremiah 29 declares that God has plans for a hope and a future.
The basic premise is that we need to see every person as a child of God who He loves–who God creates in His image.
When you call them a “moron” or “garbage,” you are calling God’s image-bearer, His child, whom He loves, names.
It doesn’t mean that you have to agree with their policies. It doesn’t mean that you can’t be critical of campaign promises, track records, and their integrity. We must understand, however, that this does not change the value of a person.
Politicians are people too.
They have parents. Siblings. Children. Spouses. Friends.
Most importantly, they have a God who loves them.
When we look at Jesus’ life, he had some very harsh words toward leaders. We do not see him calling names. Instead, we see word pictures calling out their integrity.
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!Mt 23:13.
You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.Mt 23:15
You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.Mt 23:24
You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.Mt 23:25–26
You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.Mt 23:27
These are some harsh words! They address action and character, not a person’s value. Jesus loves them and wants to see them whole.
Jesus’ call to us is to be agents of His love. The Apostle points out in Romans 5:6 that when we were still totally opposed to who God is, He came and gave His life for us. As we have received grace, we are to extend that same grace forward.
After all, Jesus stated,
You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.Mt 5:43–45
Next time you see one of those posts, brother and sister in Christ, I encourage you to pray for that politician. Pray God’s favour on them. Pray that God blesses them and reveals Himself to them in wonderfully new ways. Be willing to extend grace.
Let’s be people of love.