It’s a presidential election year. (Thought I’d remind you in case you’ve been living on an isolated island without internet connection.)
Presidential elections have a tendency to ignite the passions, stir up debates, and pit one side against the other. Elections produce a winner and a loser. After this election, roughly half of Americans will “win,” and half of Americans will “lose.”
Be careful that your identity is not directly tied to your political candidate. If you win, fantastic. Keep serving the Lord with all your being. If you lose, keep serving the Lord with all your being. Your identity in Christ is far greater than your political party.
Side note: This is not to suggest that it doesn’t matter how you vote! It absolutely matters! We’ve been given the incredible gift to be part of the selection of the highest office of the land. Don’t take that lightly. Pray and vote Biblical values.
So how should Christians behave during election years? The short answer–Christians should behave the same way they always do!The Bible was not written with asterisks, caveats, or "except when" scenarios. In other words, Jesus didn't say, "Love your neighbors, unless they vote for the wrong president." Click To Tweet
The Bible was not written with asterisks, caveats, or “except when” scenarios. In other words, Jesus didn’t say, “Love your neighbors, unless they vote for the wrong president.”
Without further adieu, here are ten ways Christians should behave through the election…and every year in between.
1. Love your neighbor.
“Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matt 22:39
Yes, those were Jesus’ words. He not only tells us who to love (our neighbor), he tell us how to love (as yourself). Your neighbor lives next door, works across the hall, pumps gas next to you, makes your coffee, sales you a car, and represents you in D.C. You have many neighbors.
2. Love your enemies.
“You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Matt 5:43-44
Loving your neighbors may come easy. Loving your enemies takes work, but it’s what Jesus did. It’s what He calls us to do.
3. Honor people.
“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Romans 12:10
There is never a time when a Christian should slander someone. Be respectful. Give honor.
4. Be patient.
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Ephesians 4:2
Another word for patience is long-suffering. Sometimes we have to suffer long with a person. It doesn’t matter how radical a person is, no one is too far gone to be redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ. Who knows! Your patience with someone may be what God uses to bring him/her to faith in Christ.
5. Be a teacher.
“Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom…” Colossians 3:16
Don’t be silent. Speak up in a way that is helpful to others. Ask questions and be a student yourself. Stand firm in your faith as you lead others through your politics.
6. Show hospitality.
“Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.” 1 Peter 4:9
Hospitality is a Christian, biblical concept. It originated with God. Your hospitality to others not only becomes a witness to the grace of God, it displays the refuge and and shelter we find in Christ.
7. Be humble.
“Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” Galatians 5:26
Pride is the original sin. Arrogance is not only unbecoming of any believer, it puffs up and causes you to look down on others.
8. Stand firm.
“Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place.” Ephesians 6:14
If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything. Stand for what is true and what is right. If everyone else falls away, stand for God and the truth of His Word.
9. Live at peace.
“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:18
Think about this, as a child of God you have peace with God. Don’t let anyone rob that! Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts! No matter what happens in the election, nothing (nada/zilch/zero) should rob you of peace.
10. Remember your witness.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses…” Acts 1:8a
Everything you do and say is a witness to the work of Christ in your life. Don’t forget your witness. Don’t forget that your life bears the name of Jesus. Represent Him well!