What you’re seeing online is not Jesus. It’s not even people following Jesus. It’s fearful, prideful people serving their egos, not Christ. And I’m really sorry you have to endure this every four years. I’m sorry for people in the Church who are really good people who honor others with their words and actions, but they’re being drowned out by loud haters right now. And I’m sorry for you if you don’t know Jesus and see His church people acting like fools online throwing words like they don’t matter. Jesus is so different than what you’re seeing.
So let me tell you about the Jesus I know.
When I read the Bible I notice important characteristics, like He saw people.
He saw people not politics, because people are what matter to Him. And He is all powerful, and all knowing, so nothing threw Him for a power trip. He knew His throne was secure, so He approached opposition with dignity and truth, not defensiveness. He also addressed things that really mattered, things that could restore people. He spoke for goodness, and was abundantly patient with people who didn’t get it but couldn’t stand people who oppressed others.
So look for the Christian who isn’t freaking out about this election. The one who can calmly talk about ideas, or stay silent, who knows their God has the ultimate vote. Who show that people are more important than being right. That’s what faith in Christ looks like–calm in chaos. Knowing that relationships are more important than politics.
Jesus taught us to give up our lives for one another like He did for us.
To look after the poor, the widow, visit those in prison, those who are sick. He stopped at wells to chat with the lowly, the different, the outcast. He stopped in crowds to call the rich and poor, the faithful and the skeptics. He knew each person had a story that led them to Him, that each story was important. He validated each person’s hurts sending them away healed, loved, and forgiven. He reaches out, He doesn’t push away.
Look for the Christian who is doing so. The republican or democrat Christian who validates every person as important to God and made by God. Who searches for the hurting and reaches out continuing God’s work in their everyday life. Who show their loving faith in action as well as words. I’m so proud of my brothers and sisters who live sacrificial lives like Jesus. Look for them. They are living examples of the Lord’s heart.
Jesus taught us that we speak and act knowing our place.
Even Jesus was obedient to His Father, only giving away what He’d received from the Father. People following Christ are humble. They aren’t the loud, pot stirrers because they know that they have sinned and need Jesus so they make room for others to need Jesus.
They know pure wisdom comes from God, not themselves, so they spend their time praying, not stirring. They know God can change hearts and minds, so they don’t worry about being the loudest. They give away what they’ve been given–love, compassion, kindness. Look for the quiet and patient. They are following Jesus.
Jesus taught us to repent–to turn from things that harm us and others and walk in grace.
Look for people who don’t blast others in public. And look for people who accept correction. Who can hear how their ways have hurt others and sit in that uncomfortable place of “I’m so sorry.” without defending. People following Jesus actively apologize and learn and grow. We desire that, to be made more like Jesus, we don’t fear it.
As for me…
Oh friends, I haven’t done a perfect job. I want to do better. I love my sisters in Christ, but I’ve struggled reading some posts that so clearly divide instead of unify. I want to chime in and let anger dictate my words instead of love. It would be so easy, but it would detract from the story of God’s grace. Let’s not.
All I can say is I believe God already has His hand on our future. I may or may not like the outcome, but I will trust that God has a plan. When we remind ourselves of that, our opinions take the low position they should, and we remember that people are what matter to Jesus, not politics.
How has this political season tested you? How have you chosen faith over fear? How is it hard to be silent trusting God instead of stirring the pot? How have you chosen to love and unify rather than divide and shame?
(This blog inspired by Proverbs 14 and 15)
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Andrea Chatelain’s mission is to meet women in their struggles and love them forward with God’s truth. She’s a Midwest mom of three, faith and family writer, and college English instructor to immigrants and refugees. She believes Jesus transforms lives when His people boldly seek Him. Her writing reflects her love for Jesus and heart for fellow believers.
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