I’m writing these words before I know who our next U.S. president will be or how you will feel about the outcome. I’m proud I was able to vote and I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for the campaigning to be over. I know it’s been a heavy process for most of us trying to make decisions that are best for the future.
I’ve also been exhausted not just by the media and politicians but by the way neighbors, friends, and family have spoken in person and online. Watching and listening to people detest the “other side” over every topic has made me feel hopeless at times. I’ve noticed that no matter the party or the issue, the enraged ugliness does not create the change desired. And what saddens me most is that it’s equally coming from both individual believers and those who don’t know Jesus yet.
I wonder if this election’s results are not just about who gets elected or even about the next four years in the framework of eternity. Maybe what’s being brought to our attention is our response to the outcome and whether or not we really love our neighbor.
I loved what my friend and fellow (in)courage contributor, Michelle Reyes, shared recently on her Instagram prior to the election: “Our allegiance is not to a political party but to King Jesus. Neither Biden nor Trump is our true leader. God is. Our true home is not the United States, but heaven. And we must remind ourselves that we are strangers and ‘aliens’ in the land we currently Iive on.”
Our role as aliens in this nation is to show others God’s love. I don’t believe government policy is the only answer to our country’s problems, but it’s a part of the solution, with each of us taking the responsibility to love each other well so true transformation can happen.
And as neighbors, we need to learn to live together. Our role is “not to have bitterness, wrath, anger or slander, but put those things away, so we can be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another (and ourselves), just as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:29-32 ESV).
If you feel like you just can’t love those who believe differently than you, then you’re right. It is not humanly possible to love as Jesus loves in our own strength or willpower. We must first allow Him to transform us with His love and grace, so we might overflow with His peace to others.
We need to figure out how to care for one another despite how we feel about the results of the election. How we live our daily lives reveals whom we trust and believe in, and if Christ is our foundation, we must remember that in Him, we are called to actively love one another in word and deed.
Love will transform our nation for the better, one person at a time. And when we love as Jesus does, others will be able to see God — the Hope that never changes even in the midst of turmoil.Leave a Comment
Andree Hidalgo says
Beautifully written! I felt a calmness as I read your writing this morning—in spite of the hostility and animosity that surrounds us, especially of late. I’m planning to share this with the faculty at the school at which I teach. Thank you for reminding us of the ultimate hope and treasure….
Beth Williams says
We are all getting caught up in the frenzy of emotions. Everyone clamoring to be heard above the other. We, as Christians, need to turn our focus upon Jesus. Remembering whose we are & that He is still in control of this universe. Then walk in the love that He gives us & show it to everyone. Love conquers a multitude of sins. It will bring the needed peace & tranquility we desire. .It is only by God’s love & peace that we can truly transform our nation back to being a Christian nation.
Brenda M Russell says
Thank you for this opportunity to encourage everyone. Our Lord and Savior knows how we feel and how we express our feelings.
It seems that when a person gets disappointed, they react in some negative and unkind ways. Pain is an important equalizer and all humans experience pain.
Thanksgiving is also an important equalizer. All humans have something with which to be thankful.
If the people who profess to be Christ followers, stand up and reflect love, peace, forgiveness, joy, strength, courage, kindness and patience with those who have different beliefs, this is a good place to start serious conversations for a better future for all people.
Thank You Lord for how You love humanity. You are always faithful even when we are not faithful.
Lynn D. Morrissey says
Yes, Thanksgiving *is* indeed a vital component of this. Can we be thankful despite under any circumstances, including in accepting any election results?
My sentiments exactly!
Lynn D. Morrissey says
Stephanie, I really appreciate this. Throughout this process, I kept reminding myself that I am, indeed, a citizen of heaven, first and foremost, and that I serve and worship King Jesus here and now in His Kingdom. I never worship a president. I am admonished in Scripture to pray for a president, and serve one, only in the sense of being a good citizen. But it’s not to a president to whom I owe allegiance. It’s Jesus whom I love and worship. And because I do, and you do, and all Christians do, as you so beautifully suggest, it’s incumbent upon us to love each other, and yes, our enemies. Love embodies the second great commandment. I think a good dose of forgiveness will also go a long way, too if throughout this election process, people have treated us unlovingly, even harshly. Am I willing to overlook being wronged, and love them anyway? And am I even willing to love my enemies? Jesus says yes! Actually, I have also found this election a great time to reach out to unbelieving friends, to lend empathy and to try to understand why they think what they do and why they vote the way they do. Frankly, they are just as scared as we, and they often just want what they feel is best for their families. Sadly, I believe at times, they have been perfectly correct in seeing harshness and unkindness in Christians. While they don’t know Christ, they know enough to know how Christians are *supposed* to behave. So I think too that post-election is a time for sober reflection and even repentance on the part of Christians. I surely know that I have had to do that. And may we all remember that even though, as Americans, we do play an important role in electing a president, it’s ultimately our Sovereign God who raises up leaders and removes others. In the end, election results are completely in the hand of God. And because they are, we know we can absolutely trust in and be thankful for the results. We know that God never makes a mistake!
Blessings to you and to our country,
Morgan Teague says
Thank you for this! I have been praying for a miracle with this election all week. But it’s so good to know at the end of the day, no matter what happens, God is still in control.
Ann Embry says
Amen. Amen. Amen…..
Stephanie Cesareo Graves says
“Watching and listening to people detest the “other side” over every topic has made me feel hopeless at times. ” to your point, I was beginning to feel the same way. It’s discouraging to see how my hatred bleeds out of this election. But this shouldn’t surprise us. We do live in a fallen world. I am glad that you pointed out that it is difficult to love others, but the Jesus can. Thank you for taking a topic that is on everyone’s hearts and minds and acknowledging how hard it is. We need to draw close to God and trust Him for the outcome.
Betty Smith says
Debe Miller says
I, too, am glad it is all over. Having to be bombarded with ads whenever the television is on, which is rarely, was so overwhelming. Even on social media, I have friends on both sides of the political issues and are very adamant about spewing their opinions – sometimes with very ugly terms.
I only hope that once it is all over we can find some common ground to move forward and not be stuck in the what-if’s or the I-told-you-so’s from the losing side and just be able to love each other as God intended.
thank you so much for this wise response. Very helpful
Kathy S. says
It is true that only Jesus’ love can change and transform our hearts. Lord, help change my heart to love others whose views and culture are different than mine; then they will see what love looks like, and I will point them to your amazing, beautiful love, and the Father’s love.
Dawn Ferguson-Little says
I not living in America. I not an American person. I live the other side of the world but it has been on the news were I live all about your elections. I am glad for you all you know who is your new Present of America is now. But sad the last man will be feeling he didn’t get in again. My heart does go out to him in a way. But the real person rules this world that is God who made the world. Like the song says that I was taught at Sunday School when small. You get it on YouTube it is “He got the whole world in his hands” then it goes He got me and you brother in his hands. There are other verses to the song. That song is so true. God has me and you in his hands. We don’t need to listen to what promises a new president of any country is going to tell us that he is going to do for our country that we live in. Hoping that he will do it for us. We just need to trust the one true God who made this world. That sent his one and only son to die for us. John 3 verse 16 tell us that. “For God so loved the world he sent his one and only son so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” No better thing could God do for us. So no Present anywhere in this world could ever promise us that. All we need to do is keep looking on to God and his word the Bible and the Promises in it and Prayer. That is all the true hope we need especially if saved and know Jesus as your saviour. Jesus will give you the true hope after the Election and for all the days of your life. I say Amen to that. Thank you incourage for today’s reading. Keeping you all in prayer. Dawn Ferguson-Little xxx
Yes, I wholeheartedly believe that all you have written is true.
Tina Storms says
Wonderful words and wisdom, friend. Thank you
Brenda Vollrath says
Amen! Thank you for writing this it’s definitely what I needed to hear today. I actually feel I’ve lost my best friend over this because I don’t agree with her views and unfortunately she’s not talking to me. I feel no matter who is president, Jesus is my King and He’ll always be my king.
Mrs. Sarla Williams, Sri Lanka says
Thank you for these much needed words for such a time like this when Christians all over the world are so divided over US elections!! We forget what truly binds us and yes we are only sojourners till we reach Home! May you all in the US be channels of peace and reconciliation at this time in your fractured hurting nation. Be assured of our prayers.
Mary Carver says
Stephanie, thank you for your heart and your words here. xoxo
Candice Zamora says
So eloquently said. God bless you!