Are you gearing up for election season? Are there some “must win” candidates and issues for you? Do you deeply feel the future is at stake?
Maybe you are the opposite. The last election sucked all the energy and emotional investment out of you. Now you have a hard time engaging. The ads, maneuvering, and political games have fatigued you.
The election results will be in soon and both sides are already claiming they will win and bring change. It is so much political theater.
Don’t hear me to put down the democratic style of government. I am thankful for the right to vote and electing bad leaders does damage just as electing good leaders can make things better.
Politicians use fear and desperation to suck people in. They villainize the other side and make it seem as though everything is about to be lost….unless you elect them. They will ride in and stop the evil (Republicans, Democrats, Conservative or Liberals) if you vote for them.
The frenzy gets people stirred up, makes them more likely to vote and attracts campaign dollars. Calm, wise, and thoughtful leadership doesn’t move the needle. Scandal, fear, and dangling a better way of life gets a response.
I am glad you are too smart for this! You can see another post detailing how people matter more than politics HERE.
Elections do matter in the short term. But even in the brief history of the United States we have enjoyed great leaders, so-so leaders, and few bad leaders. Many laws have been passed, repealed, and changed. I suspect more of the same in the future.
You should absolutely vote. I will even tell you who to vote for and how to vote! You need to vote for the person you think will do the most good, knowing they are imperfect and will have some failings. You should also vote for the laws that best align with God’s word.
But now for something even more important.
Again, you are too smart to be manipulated into hating other people, being insulting, or acting ugly towards people with a different opinion.
I know you already know this, but I must remind myself. My life doesn’t rise and fall on the government, some temporary elected official, or the results of an election.
Of course, we all have our preferences but its funny in the last 20 years we have had 4 different Presidents elected. With each President, their political opponents claimed they would be the end of us all if they got into office! Yet somehow, we are all still here and it hasn’t changed our lives all that much either way.
Why are people so fanatical about this? Most wouldn’t use this language but I will. For many the government and the power it holds has become a god. It is an idol.
An idol is anything you care more about than Jesus. Based on the intense passion some have for politics and the flickering passion they have for following Jesus…I don’t know what else you could call it.
Idols can be our politics, our financial investments, our relationships or even a job we love. That’s why they are so dangerous. They can show up anywhere and bite us.
Idols also have an element of good in them, that is why we are attracted to them. Living in a country where you get to pick your leaders is a blessing. Caring about your work and using your abilities is fulfilling. Having financial resources to steward is a gift. Having good relationships with people you love adds so much to your life.
See how this works? Idols are good things put in the wrong place.
Idol busting is a worthy effort. Here are a couple of ideas about busting the idols in your world.
Call it what it is. This may be the hardest part. Admit the thing has become too important. Trust me it is better for you to admit it now than to deal with the consequences in the future! Admitting it is awkward, but the consequences can be devastating.
For this to really matter you not only need to admit it to yourself but someone else. Find someone who loves you and cares about you. Confess that you found this idol in your life and you want to bust it.
You know what? They probably already know anyway if they really know you. If they love you they will want you to bust it too!
Cut the head off. Idols don’t play nice, they demand everything and they give nothing back. Half measures don’t work with idols. Give them an inch and they will take all you have. There has never been a case in the history of ever where someone just woke up magically free of their idols. It takes effort.
It may mean to quit checking your retirement account, turn off CNN/FOX news, setting some relationship boundaries or changing jobs. I know that sounds drastic but what are the alternatives? Continue to give something first place in your life that literally consumes you and leaves you empty while you half-heartedly follow Jesus? I know that is harsh but this is real and it is important.
Be Healthy in Your Co-Dependence. An idol asks you to trust them. Jesus asks you to trust Him. Either way you are trusting something or someone to bring you life. You know the answer here.
Jesus says He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Peter said Jesus “has the words of life”. Paul tells us we have new life in Christ.
Your idols will take what you have and leave you empty. Jesus will take you as you are and fill you. Send more time reading what God has to say to you (the Bible) than you do with social media, news or politics. What you give your attention to forms your heart.
Lean into Jesus. When you do, you will find the elections matter, but you have something that matters much more.
I don’t know how the elections will turn out and I don’t now how our country will respond. I do know smart people like you will be able to love people (even your enemies), bring peace and rest in truth of God’s control.
Would you like to see more content like this? Visit our BLOG
We love connecting with people. Visit us at mountainridge.org
Finally, check our our YouTube channel for great videos designed to help you move forward