So, what did you do last night?
I joined the bazillions in watching the bizarre. I say bizarre, but it was really all expected.
That One Guy acted sort of brazen and bold while That One Lady tried to keep her cool and make That One Guy look like a bozo. The news networks that lean a certain way leaned that way in their analysis, and the (VERY) few outlets that don’t lean a certain way, well, no one actually watches.
I have no intention of issuing an endorsement this election, as if it mattered to you what I thought anyway. Most folks have their minds made up. Those that don’t yet are mostly going to elect to not assist in electing, because the options are, well, limited.
But, as a Christian and a cultural observer, I did notice a few things last night that I bet a lot of you can relate to.
1. I Got Anxious
Did you feel your heartbeat quicken? Did you have to get up and move around? Did you have to view a second screen simultaneously to watching, just because it was hard to watch? Did you find yourself yelling at a television screen because you you were so agitated? That may be a sign you were anxious, too.
My 11 year old took in some of the debate and, about two minutes in remarked, “I’m worried about who the next president will be.” I calmly reassured her that she had no reason to worry (I’ll get to why later), but she would have nothing of it. My reassurance meant little to her in light of what she was beholding. “Have you seen the choices?” she asked in despair.
A lot of people feel the way she feels. I noticed my own mood change while forcing myself to watch like I sometimes force myself to eat vegetables. To all that I would say this…well, not me, but Jesus:
“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life…who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?” Matthew 6:25-34, emphasis mine
2. Everyone is Losing It
If you think our presidential candidates are nutso, you must not have been on social media last night…or this morning…or the last fifteen months. Culture is a map and a mirror, and we have to come to terms with ourselves that in many ways our major party candidates actually represent our country. People are losing their minds, spitting vitriol about the candidate they’ve chosen to despise.
Look, you don’t have to like That One Guy or That One Lady, but if you’re a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, you do have to wrestle with this truth. And again, this is from the Lord, not me:
“Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29, emphasis mine
“So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;” Colossians 3:12, no emphasis needed…you get the picture
3. This is Not Our Last Hope
Recently, I have read many Christian leaders say things like “I just don’t know about our country if…” and “I’m afraid for the United States if…” I even saw one say that this election may be “our last hope as a nation.”
Mind you, this was not some dude like me wearing flip flops sitting in an office whose name no one knows. This was a Christian leader who people listen to, follow, and admire. Saying out loud that this election was our last hope as a nation.
It made me wonder not only why the dude was considered a Christian leader, but whether or not he was even a Christian.
Friends, I get the passion about this decision. I understand the consequences. I am familiar with the policies. I know the stakes are high. But this presidential election — heck, no presidential election — is our last hope as a nation. That is not what Scripture teaches. That is not the Gospel. But don’t take my word for it:
“The war horse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue.” Psalm 33:17
“For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth.” Psalm 71:5
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13
“…set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:13
Shall I go on? I’m not saying don’t participate if you feel led to participate. I’m not saying don’t have an opinion. I’m not saying don’t express your opinion. What I am saying is that if you believe the Gospel, then the outcome of this election is not your last hope, because we don’t hope in war horses or politicians or any other human being — we hope in the Lord.
You can just add this to the pile of debate blogs hitting social media today if you’d like. But to my brothers and sisters in the Lord I say sincerely:
Do not worry.
Hope in Jesus.