I finished this post last week – before I knew who our next president will be. I wanted to write it, and publish it, before we knew because I needed the reminder that God is in control and that He is at work in bringing justice, righteousness, and mercy to all of us. There are certainly circumstances when that’s hard to believe, like in the middle of a society altering pandemic or when the world’s economy is crashing and it’s those already poor and suffering that bear the brunt of the added misfortune.
Or when someone you believe is unfit to lead anything becomes the leader of the free world.
I keep hearing how this election is more important than any other election we’ve ever had. That might be true. But here’s what I know is true:
My mission as a Christian does not change based on who the leader of our country is.
That’s not to say that we shouldn’t care about who wins or that we shouldn’t vote in ways that promote our mission, but it is important to remember that neither Donald Trump nor Joe Biden nor any politician is able to bring about the Kingdom of Heaven.
So if you’re feeling heart-broken because your preferred candidate will not be president come January, or if you’re feeling a bit hopeful because you think the best guy won, then it’s important remember that our day to day work remains the same as it has always been: making disciples, loving my enemy, doing justice, and realizing the Kingdom of God.
That can look completely different for each of us, but here are some ways that all of us can make a difference in our communities, even if the wrong (or right) guy is president.
Obviously. Obviously we need to be praying. We should be praying for the our country, four our leaders, for local communities, and for our enemies.
But we should also be praying for ourselves. We should be praying for God’s wisdom, discernment, and will to become more apparent in our lives. And, perhaps above all, we should pray as Jesus told us to:
Ask that God’s will would be done on earth as it is heaven. And no president can make that happen.
Government policies have real and lasting impacts on people’s lives. Abortion, police, racism, poverty, and taxes all have real world consequences for real people.
The best way to make a difference in those areas is to give your time. Some great places to make a real difference:
There are literally dozens of places you can give your time to make a positive change on any issue you care about, whether it’s abortion, crime, or poverty. Your presence, and the Good News you carry, will change the world much more quickly than any president can.
3. Host Dinner Parties
Dinner parties are fun! But these should have an ulterior motive: eating with someone you deeply disagree with. Find a group of people that see the world differently than you.
Escape your echo chamber.
There are organizations like “Make America Dinner Again” that will help you set this up, or you can just invite some co-workers, neighbors, and church friends over and hang out all together.
Sometimes I need to be reminded that even people who disagree with me have good hearts and they want to see others thrive. We just disagree about how to best accomplish it.
Having fun together, eating together, and listening to each other will do a lot to heal the rift that is tearing through our society right now.
4. Delete Your Account
Speaking of echo chambers, quitting social media will go a long way to helping you keep your focus in the right place, i.e hope in God v. fear of the evil politicians.
If you can’t quit social media, at the very least you should limit it. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, and the rest all hack your brain to keep your attention for as long as they can.
Fear and anger are their most potent tools, and they constantly deliver you posts that will keep you focused on the wrong things. Some practical ways you can help stem the tide of social media:
- Disable notifications
- Set up time limits
- Delete them from your phone
- Use tools like FlipFeed, Politecho, or Read Across the Aisle to balance out your news diet.
Also, turn off your TV.
I know this might be hard to believe, but there is a lot of suffering in this world, and some of it is too far away for us to really be able to volunteer in meaningful ways. If making a difference in other countries is really important to you, then giving your money can sometimes be the best way to help.
America is the most powerful country in the world, but you can make a gigantic and eternal difference in someone’s life by giving to these organizations, no matter who is calling the shots.
6. Read/Listen to Someone You Disagree With
We live in the golden age of information. This is both a blessing and a curse, but it certainly means there are ample opportunities to learn from people that are much different than you.
A big part of our fear about who the president is is founded on the sub-conscious belief that “they” are evil. Understanding the motivations of conservative, liberal, and moderate people will make them much less scary and easier to truly hear.
7. Study the Bible
This should be as obvious as the first point, but I so often forget to do this.
The Bible is the best mirror we have for seeing the ways we’re not living up to the mission of God. I need a daily dose of encouragement, challenge, and comfort if I have any hope of loving my enemy and reflecting the grace of Christ.
There are so many ways to do this if you’re not sure where to start. You can join our World’s Biggest Small Group, listen to podcasts like The Bible Project or The Bible for Kids, or you can read the Bible directly.
I’ll be honest: It’s hard for me to not get discouraged about politics. For every good thing that happens it feels like there are 3 or 4 unfortunate events. When I look towards election day I am immediately filled with anxiety about the next few months.
But then I come back to this truth: Jesus is Lord, and I am His herald.
If I can remember that God is working with us to create a better world, then I can move past my anxiety and find rest and hope in Him.
P.S. Did the right guy win?