Are you getting tired of all of these political ads?
I think the ones that get to me the worst are the commercials that highlight all of their political opponents attack ads. In other words, it’s an attack ad that is attacking the morality of their opponent’s attack ads? Hmmm? Something seems strange about that picture!
Equally bad are the pundits who grotesquely escalate the stakes of every election: “Vote for [fill-in-the-blank] …or we’re all gonna die!” I.e., they make it sound as though almost every miniscule policy of their opponent is going to completely and utterly destroy life as we know it.
Don’t get me wrong, there are indeed a “few hills worth dying on”; but, we also have to acknowledge that desperate politicians, and desperate Christians — who have no faith in Christ are likely to make desperate statements. Fear is a classic motivation strategy. And, even Christians are likely to puke their fears on you before election day is over. So be on guard. Preachers and radio shows are especially good at this.
But it’s important to know this: Fear is not of God. For God is love. And perfect love casts out fear. Paul demonstrated this when he wrote his letter to Timothy.
At the time, Christians were experiencing the wrath of one of the most evil Roman Emperors ever, named Nero. This man was notorious for deep wickedness – doing untold atrocities to Christians. Yet, listen to how peaceful Pauls words were:
1 Tim.2:1-2 “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone- 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”
In other words, Paul was quite different than all of the pundits we hear in the news. He wasn’t out there exaggerating and demonizing leaders with every breath. And, I don’t know who you are voting for; but, I’m pretty sure that, either way, none of our options are as bad as Nero.
Even more, Paul said that we should give “thanksgiving” for “all” those in authority. I.e., Paul didn’t exclude anyone – even Nero – which says numerous things about Paul.
1). Paul wasn’t a fear-monger, he was a child of God! When God is your Father you simply don’t need to worry or over-react.
2). Paul was so secure in God, he could think about positive things – even during the worst of times.
So, if you find your own heart getting anxious this election season, I give you a solid Biblical command: Be At Peace!
I’m Peter Haas, and I approve this message!
P.S., Come on out for our new series: Jesus for President!