I’ve always been political. When I was thirteen, I was introduced to Rush Limbaugh’s radio show. I was instantly hooked; after all, he agreed with me! I was an opinionated whippersnapper. I couldn’t tell you when or how, but somewhere along the line I became passionate about politics. Listening to Rush’s show as a teenager didn’t give me my opinions, it just made me more confident and outspoken. I went on to receive my bachelor’s degree in government. The experience and education built and refined my knowledge, while honing my communication skills (though I never mastered the art of staying awake in class).
I often surmise that the main reason I am single at forty is because of this combination of being opinionated and outspoken. What Christian man wants a wife like that? But, rest assured that God is working on me. My opinions are as strong as ever, but I spend a lot less time focused on politics. I am making a purposeful choice to have a Kingdom-focused worldview rather than one centered around American politics, and I am happier for it.
Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit. . .”
Several years ago, God sent me to a church with a pastor who helped me understand that people didn’t need me to change their political views. People need Jesus. I am not saying that God wants us to stay out of politics, but we should separate our political views from how we see individual people. I for one have always been more comfortable arguing politics than sharing the Gospel. That can’t be what God desires from me. We are not redeemed by voting a certain way. What good is it to change someone’s mind, if he is still walking a path to hell?
On this point, my perspective was influenced by reading C.S. Lewis. In an address entitled Learning in War-Time, Lewis instructed students that the war (World War II) “simply aggravates the human situation so that we can no longer ignore it.” He explained the human situation in these terms: “Human life has always been lived on the edge of a precipice. Human culture has always had to exist under the shadow of something infinitely more important than itself.” We may disagree with people on many things, but if they are walking toward the edge of a cliff and don’t realize it, we have a duty to tell them. God calls us to love others, just as Christ loved us and died for us while we were still sinners. If we fail to help those who live on the precipice of hell, we will be accountable.
As you may know from my last couple of blogs, I am praying for neighbors who have set themselves to be my enemy. I don’t even know their names, let alone their backgrounds or views. The one thing that seems clear is that they are unhappy. It is the unhappiness of people who have no hope beyond this life. Like most people, they are living for whatever advantage or ease they can have today, because there is no reason to do otherwise. Their need for Jesus is clear. So I am praying, and I am convicted. I was focused on trying to prove who was right and wrong, rather than trying to point them to Jesus. How could I have done better? How could I have shown them God’s love?
We can’t write anyone off as lost. Only God knows, and He has called us to love them. That has become my prayer and my desire. I don’t have any idea how I will be able to do this, but I trust God. I know that He brings people and situations into my life, and if I am seeing the world through a political lens, I will miss opportunities.
Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
I have learned that when I am focused on God’s kingdom, I have greater peace and joy. A true sense of peace and security cannot be found in political victory; it can only be found in a Savior. I love the United States of America, and I want to see it stay free and great. But if my future hope is built on the success of this nation, I am bereft. Praise God that I can look forward to a better place – “the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.” (Hebrews 11:10) When I can, I still enjoy listening to Rush and reading political articles and blogs. But I am first and foremost a citizen of heaven. I want to focus more of my time and energy on “the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” That is why this woman with a government degree doesn’t write a political blog.