The Election is Over... Now What?

Well, the truth is no one can really know what the days ahead hold for us. That is true whether there is an election going on or not. Of course, there will be a flurry of predictions, but no one can really know how our economy will be affected, how world powers will react in the long term, or how civil life will go from day to day. But, there is one thing that might be wise for all of us to do: take a couple of days off.

This election cycle has brought out much of the worse in people of all stripes. Friends and families have traded nasty words, people have been at odds with one another, and public rhetoric (including social media posts) has been infused with more anger and vitriol than ever.

So, I suggest, take a day or two off. Turn off the TV, do not look at your social media feed, ignore the daily news babble, and just take a day or two away from all the noise. Use the opportunity to heal the relationships strained by strong words. Forgive. If you are angry, be angry, and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger. (Eph. 4:26) If your candidate has prevailed, do not gloat, but humbly accept the victory. Pray for the victor, and pray for the defeated. Rest your mind.

Whatever you do in next few days, here are a few things we can take, and I think must take, from the pages of Scripture:

1. Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. (Matt 5:43-48) The words of Jesus ring loudly. Maybe you have been the target of some serious tongue lashing by someone over your political ideas. Christian, it is your obligation and the command of Christ to pray for them and to love them. It is your calling and your witness. Do not fuel the fire, even if you were not in the wrong. What is vengeance other than an excuse to return evil for evil? Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a coverup for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. (1 Peter 2:16,17)

2. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone... Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6) The King of Kings is on the throne regardless of the person who occupies the places of power in government. Be at peace.

3. Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God... Pay to all what is owed to them... respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. (Romans 13:1,7) Government is a good and God-ordained institution. That is not to say that it cannot be corrupt, or that we should not stand against wrong governance. You may or may not like the person in leadership, but that does not matter. We are a people ruled by the King of Kings, but governed by earthly God-ordained systems. It is our witness to rightly be subject to the governance of our established human institutions, in so far as they do not force us to act contrary to the Lord's ways.

4. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:31, 32)

It's all going to take intentional effort. No one just decides to put it all away and then it's all good. It takes effort to love and forgive, it takes real work to be tenderhearted after strenuous relations, and it takes real effort to be kind to those whose political positions you think are wrong or even dangerous. But remember, you can be pretty aggravating too. Speak the truth in love, but never forget the state of your own self.

Well, I don't know what you think of all that. This is just my simple offering of words on paper (or computer screen). I think that in this time we would all do well to just get quiet, turn off the noise for a while, and draw close to the King of Kings. Be blessed!

Scripture quotations are from The ESV Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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