My dear fellow believers in Christ, really!? How is it that so many of us were drawn into the ugliness, hatred, demeaning, name-calling, and more, of this election season? How is it that words and behavior, which in other circumstances are criticized as immoral, ungodly, and unacceptable, have been ignored? How is it that fellow believers, on opposite sides of the political aisle, are able to use such hateful and demeaning language toward each other?
Corrupt, harsh, abusive words, bitterness, rage, anger, slander, the list can go on, grieve the Holy Spirit of God (Ephesians 4:29-31). In Christ we are called to put on a new life created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:24). We are no longer to be conformed to the ways of this world. Rather we are to be transformed into the very image of Christ in our minds and so in our words and actions (Romans 12:1-2).
As in the past, so now, disciples of Christ struggle with what it means to be in this world but not of this world. What does it mean as disciples of Christ to be pilgrims and aliens in this world? How do disciples of Christ live within the nations of this world, including our constitutional republic, and their citizenship and loyalty be in and to the kingdom of Christ? How do disciples of Christ stand united in Christ, loving one another with the love of Christ, speaking words which build up, being kind to one another, being patient with each other, and forgiving each other, when they find themselves differing on the things of this world, such as politics?
Disciples of Christ were drawn, are still being drawn, into unrighteousness and unholiness in this political season. We all need to do serious reflection on our recent words and actions. We need to humbly, on our knees, ask the Spirit of Christ to help us understand and live the words of Paul. “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17).