Of Politics and Love
By Hal Lindsey
We stand in the midst of a great political war. Passions run high on all sides. Everything feels urgent. Political campaigns have become campaigns of fear. “If you vote wrong,” they say, “you will lose your freedoms, your savings, your healthcare, and your prosperity along with any hopes you may have for your loved ones.”
For those who are not in Christ, these are fearful times. If you’ve placed your trust in human government to save you or to keep you safe, it makes sense to be afraid — no matter who wins this year’s election. You should be afraid because government is not dependable or predictable. We should all work to make human government the best it can be, but we must put our hope and trust in God.
We are told that everything depends on the coming election. It’s as if every campaign has a man with a sandwich sign. On one side, the sign says, “The End is Near!” And on the other side, it says, “…unless you vote for [insert name of candidate here].”
A lot of people used to watch presidential elections the way they watched sporting events. They enjoyed evaluating the talents of the campaigners and the intricacies of their ever-evolving strategies. You would be hard-pressed to find such people now. It’s fun to watch a basketball game. But in basketball, your country doesn’t fall apart if your team loses.
Even with the new coronavirus sweeping the world, American TV news channels are focusing almost all their time on the presidential election. Other news is only given a cursory look. You expect news channels to talk about politics, but today, angry politics infuses everything, including sports, advertising, music, drama, books, and video games. Casual political conversations hardly exist anymore. Now political conversations feel like life and death struggles.
So, where is God in all of this? How should Christian believers respond in such an environment?
As always, we start with faith in God. Hebrews 11:6 teaches that without faith it is impossible to please God. So, trust God and don’t be afraid. An unprecedented amount of money will be spent sending political messages over the next few months. Underlying most of those messages will be one of fear. Don’t give in to it. If you are in Christ, then you belong to God. One way or another, He will take care of you.
So, don’t be afraid, and don’t panic. Walk in confidence — not in yourself or your candidate, but in the God whose promises never fail. Have faith!
Next, walk in love. Galatians 5:6 speaks of “faith working through love.” 1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear.”
The passion in politics has turned water coolers into battlefields and kitchen tables into warzones. When emotions run this high, families, churches, businesses, schools, and other institutions all suffer. It’s a good time to remember Proverbs 15:1. “A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.”
In tennis, they call it “taking the pace off of the ball.” A message may be coming in hot, but you don’t have to respond in kind. Give a gentle answer — even when you would prefer to hit them with a zinger. Go ahead and state your case, but do so with kindness. Remember that a calm demeanor signals confidence, whereas angry blustering comes from fear and doubt.
State your case, and then be gracious. Love and kindness will more readily win others to your side than even the best set of talking points.
In John 15:12, Jesus said, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 says, “Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”