In just one week, our country will choose it's next president. We are polarized. I don't know of anyone who is not either worried, fearful, or depressed. Both the republican and democratic campaigns are saturated with negative press; and there is no short supply of mud to sling on either side. Social media is flooded with posts- people using some of the most disparaging language ever witnessed in a presidential campaign.
Sadly, we have come to expect this type of behavior from our candidates. We have grown far from political campaigns where candidates held an air of mutual respect for one another; where a presidential candidate acted presidential; strong on the issues yet be an ambassador of good will and integrity; a role model for the rest of us to look up to, work with, pray for. It seems that type of campaign has become at best, an idealistic notion.
However, as Christians, we should not accept this type of behavior from ourselves. It's so easy to get swept up in the drama of social media, or the frenzy created by news networks, or even the rush brought on by a comedy skit. It's easy to start thinking like everyone else, buying into the fear and worry and depression surrounding this election; speaking words that seek to kill and destroy rather than ones that bring life. It's easy to scroll through the posts on social media and push send, even when not totally sure of the facts. It's easy to be so passionate about our own candidate that we share things that are hurtful to someone's soul.
But as Christians, we don't do "easy." As Christians we profess a better way; a way of truth, of light, of hope. We profess to be peace-makers, justice-lovers, mercy-doers... we reach for the moral high ground on the issues. We strive to do what's fair and equitable, and to live and give with compassion. Have we taken a break from those things during election season?
When did we stop loving our neighbor? How have we come to justify speaking/posting hateful words about anyone, even in the name of "protection" or "warning?" Who said it was alright to break relationships with people who think differently that we do and to stop working toward reconciliation in our world?
I know it can be scary, but don't let worry and strife get in the way of doing what God has called us to. We are called to act in love... period. "God has not given us a spirit of cowardice, but of power, and of love, and of self-discipline."* We are not called to fear, or display fear mongering, or running around saying 'the sky is falling.' And we are not called to cut down the character of another.
We are children of Light. We are to walk in the Light. And we are to live in the Light.
God's goodness is within you... let your Light, the Light of Christ, shine in the darkness.
*2 Tim 1:7