I saw a political bumper sticker on a car a few days ago. I feel like it accurately summed up my thoughts on the current presidential race. Sad, but true.
We are witnessing an unprecedented level of fear and hysteria over who will lead our country for the next four years. Given all that is at stake (and the choices we have on the ballot), I suppose that panic is the correct response.
Or is it?
Of course, our democratic process is important. But it is during this season that we run the risk of putting far too much confidence in our leaders. And not enough confidence in God.
Sure, there's the real possibility, given what our leaders do, that the U.S. will move in a direction that is further away from God's best. We may experience a cultural, moral or economic downturn in the coming days. While I certainly don't want any of those things, God still calls us to trust Him. And to be salt and light to a world full of people who have no hope ... or to a country full of people who put far too much hope in the wrong things.
Things like their government.
We have to remember that our kids—particularly our teens and young adult children—are watching us. If we are operating in "the sky is falling" mode, we might be communicating to them that we trust more in America than we do in God.
Andy Stanley had a great—and funny—word in a sermon a few months ago when he suggests that our hysteria might be scaring our children. (Click here to view it.) He reminds us that God is still in control. We would be wise to remember that.
A plan for the next month.
As we ramp up to Election Day and collectively vote to determine the direction of our country's future, pray that God would lead you. Vote your values. But be sure that you aren't placing your hope in a political party, a specific policy or a tax/finance plan to secure your future. They will surely disappoint.
Make sure your kids know that the world—including our nation and culture—is moving further and further away from God's design. We shouldn't be surprised by this. Romans 1:18-32 is becoming a reality before our eyes. In the midst of the turmoil, the temptation is to "circle the wagons" within the safe havens our churches. Don't do it! Instead, our families must seek ways to share Christ with those who don't know what we know.
Finally, be at peace. Seriously ... be still. Know that God is still on His throne, even if we think the person sitting in the Oval Office is an idiot. In fact, in one of those verses that I still can't fully grasp, Romans 13:1-7 reminds us that He is in control of who leads us. It may not be easy to trust our government, but it's easy to trust God. He's never let us down.
Enough of that...
Okay, so that's more political talk than you probably wanted to hear. I promise not to bring this type of thing up for at least four more years. ;-)
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Adapted from infoforfamilies.com, a ministry founded by Barrett and Jenifer Johnson. After serving in the local church for 25 years, Barrett and Jenifer launched INFO for Families as a ministry designed to encourage people through speaking, personal coaching and resource development. Barrett served for 15 years in youth ministry before serving for eight years as the Family Minister at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Atlanta, one of the largest churches in the South. He has degrees from Texas A&M University and Southwestern Seminary, but he and Jenifer have received their best education through the no-holds-barred nature of everyday family life.
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