Let me preface this by saying this is not a political post. I won’t share my political stance over social media. If you are truly interested in my political stance, message me personally. These are strictly my personal thoughts on the state of our country.
Today I saw the political slogan, as I have so many times, “Keep America Great.” But today it hit me differently.
When I look at the state of our country, I don’t see greatness. I see pain. I see heartache. I see pride. I see citizens attacking each other, physically and verbally (and virtually). I see the greatest division our country has seen since the Civil War.
I want to bring a challenging thought to the table: What if we’re putting too much stock in a person? In a political party? In a policy? A political candidate cannot and will not “fix” our country. Can they initiate change? Absolutely. But they are not the end all be all. No human will be the perfect leader. Ever. Because they’re just that. Human. Regardless of political party.
I don’t ever want to be controlled by a political candidate or party. Do I have my personal stances, beliefs, and morals? Of course. But do I expect a single human to embody all of those things perfectly? Absolutely not. It’s not possible.
Let’s state a fact here: there will always be disagreement over politics. There will always be Republicans. There will always be Democrats. There will always be those who fall somewhere in the middle. But let me be clear: the party you choose to vote for does not and never will define you.
I saw a quote the other day that said something to the effect of “I’m less concerned about who you vote for and more concerned about how you treat others who vote differently than you.” Forgive me if I misquoted. But the point stands.
Is voting for who you align most with important? Absolutely. But does that also give us the right to tear into someone who may vote differently? No. Never.
This country was built on freedom. And that means each citizen has the right and freedom to vote how they see fit. I’m all for healthy discussions and debates. But I am NOT for arguments with no other agenda than to just spit out personal opinions while degrading someone else in the process. I think we can do better as individuals and also as a country.
I share this because this is something that has been weighing heavily on my heart, not just in regard to politics, but also in regard to everything that’s happened this year in this country. I keep coming back to this one question: “What would Jesus do?” And I don’t say that in the cheesy WWJD Bible school sense of the phrase. I want to know, if Jesus was here in physical form again on this planet in 2020, how would he respond?
I may not be able to answer that specific question, but I can look in the Bible to see how he responded in situations he encountered during his lifetime. And I believe it can be summed up in this: Jesus responded in love, passion, compassion, and by always putting other’s interests above his own. He spoke what he believed, but it was always from a place of love. That’s not to say Jesus didn’t say some hard-to-swallow things. But the way in which he did it is beautiful to me.
I think of the woman at the well. He met her and immediately told her all the sins she had committed. What a way to start a conversation. So why did he do that? To encourage her to turn away from those things. So he could show her he loved her anyway.
Jesus had purpose in everything he said. He spoke with intention. And I think that’s the ultimate difference. How often do we speak without purpose? How often do we speak and the intention is actually harm? It convicts me just thinking about it.
I say everything in this post with purpose and intention. I say this as a reminder and as a conviction, for myself as well, to remember that this election is not the end all be all. That’s not to say it’s not important. It is. But don’t let it consume you. Don’t let it steal your joy. Don’t let it push you to say things you’ll later regret. Don’t let it destroy relationships. Don’t let your political stance define you.
Our hope should not and cannot be in a political candidate. They will disappoint us every time. There is only one perfect leader. His name is Jesus. And he will always be in control. No matter who sits in office.