I Hate to Tell You Jesus Wasn’t Into Politics

The political climate here in the United States this year is uncomfortable on a good day. We are so polarized and family members don’t even want to speak to each other based on beliefs. That makes me very sad. What prompted this post though is people bringing Jesus into it. Y’all, Jesus was not a politician. He hung out with a few tax collectors, but that was as far as it went.

This week I read through all the words of Jesus that we have on record. Do you know what He spoke about? Not politics. He talked about love, faith, forgiveness, mercy, and humility. He talked about how a person, not a government, should act. On both sides of the spectrum, we tend to throw around the idea of Jesus and what He would say or do. We aim it at the other side instead of at ourselves. We act like Jesus would line up with our beliefs and condemn the other side. The truth is Jesus would not be a Democrat or a Republican. He knew that human political systems are flawed and stayed away. When people tried to trip Jesus up, He answered and pointed them to God.

When asked if it is right to pay taxes, Jesus answered, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” (Matthew 22:21) He didn’t give a long and drawn out response about taxes but told them to pay it and also give back to God.

When Jesus was condemned and about to be crucified for no reason, Pilate asked Him if He realized he (Pilate) had power over Him. Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.” (John 19:11) Wow. He didn’t start a fight but pointed Pilate to God, even in His darkest moments.

Nowhere in the Bible does Jesus go off on a tangent and shout, “The government should be doing this! It shouldn’t be doing that!” He focused on what each individual can control-their own actions. No, I am not saying that Jesus would think our government is too big or involved, but I do think He would agree that we let the arguing distract and discourage us. We get lulled into thinking the country should be helping the less fortunate, when in reality it is up to us. We can each do more than we are. We can give more time and money to causes. We can reach out to those who need us and be paying attention to those needs instead of assuming the government should do it.

Jesus was born to be the Savior of the world, but He didn’t come to be in charge. He came to serve and to be a leader of servants instead of the leader of a nation or an army. If we want to be more like Jesus, can we please stop talking about it, and start serving alongside Him?

Linking with Holley Gerth

Paul’s Words for Election Years

The book of Titus may have been written 2,000 years ago, but I think a few verses were snuck in for 2016. Election years are rough, y’all. It is easy to get caught up in all the negativity and self-righteousness.

In Titus 3, Paul warns: “Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.” Now do you see why I keep my mouth shut when it comes to politics? We all know how bad things are without all the slander that goes on. I would rather keep my two ears open and my one mouth shut than to say something I can’t take back.

You know what you really won’t catch me doing? I won’t be talking badly about the president in front of kids, especially my own kids. Whoever is in that office is our authority and it isn’t up to us to pick and choose which authority we respect. I may not always agree with choices and words, but I respect anyone who wants to take on that job. You couldn’t pay me enough to be criticized by half the country and for my family to be scrutinized that much. And can we lay off the accusations of playing too much golf? Every president seems to play a lot of it. They are human and need rest too. Yes, we should hold them to high standards, but let’s make the standards achievable. My girls, like all kids, need to learn to respect any authority put over them. They will follow our lead, so let’s show them how *ahem* mature we are.

Peaceable, considerate, and gentle. Those are difficult to be toward those we are closest to, let alone in a political discussion. I believe we are much more persuasive (and sane sounding) when we behave in a peaceful manner. Passion will still be heard and people won’t tune us out immediately. How about instead of tearing down opponents, we bring up the good points of who we like? What a novel idea! Restraining our tongues is one of the hardest things to do, but it is worth it. We won’t lose friends or the respect and admiration of our peers.

There you have it: Paul’s guide to the 2016 election. If we can accomplish these behaviors, I believe we will see we have more common ground with opponents than we thought. We also might keep our friends! Let’s stay kind and peaceful and see what a difference it will make.

We can get through this together!

Today is my first monthly guest post over at Starla Jimenez’s blog. Check it out!

Linking with Holley Gerth