How do we cope when faith and politics collide? If I’m being honest, prior to 2020, I wasn’t too concerned with politics. I occasionally watched the news and paid some attention to big stories, but all of that changed when the pandemic began. I found myself sucked into everything on social media. Perhaps it was due to the fact that I suddenly had a lot of time on my hands. Or maybe it was the first time in my life that politics directly affected the lives of my family. Either way, it wasn’t healthy. I was on a constant diet of bad news, and I needed to get back to a place where my faith in God and His promises came first.
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Live a life that represents your King…
In part one, we touched on the idea that honoring those in leadership can silence the talk of foolish men. But there was another important reason why the early church chose to honor everyone around them. As Christ-followers, we represent the Kingdom of God. Everything we do and say should be a reflection of who God is and how we ought to live as the family of God.
Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them, and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive. – Titus 2:9-10 (NIV)
Now you may be wondering why I decided to include a passage about slavery here. I think we can all agree that slavery was never God’s plan for humanity. After all, He rescues us from slavery and gives us freedom! Paul, however, chose to be practical and realistic in his letter to Titus. As much as it wasn’t God’s perfect plan for His people, slavery was a part of the culture. Many new Believers were slaves, and they now needed to learn how to operate as Christ-followers.
Even though slavery is unjust and many slave owners were cruel, Paul urged these new Believers to live in such a way that they would make “the teaching about God our Savior attractive.” In other words, representing the Kingdom of God was more important than anything else. Now, that doesn’t mean social justice isn’t important. Slavery is wrong, and it should be condemned. But… in our fight for social justice, are we remembering that our FIRST priority needs to be the Kingdom of God? Are we making the teaching of our Savior attractive by how we live our lives? Are we representing Him well by what we say online?
Until Christ returns and makes all things new, there will be injustice in the world. But even in the midst of injustice, we are still called to represent Jesus in all that we say and do.
Remember the end of the story…
I have found myself personally struggling with this lately. It sometimes feels like the world is collapsing in on itself. Will things ever go back to “normal”? Will there ever be peace from this storm?
When I watch the news or spend too much time on social media, the answer I typically come to is no. Everything is chaos and doom and gloom. So many of the people I follow have given up on things ever being “normal” again. Everything feels very hopeless.
But this is the end of the story!
As Believers, we have hope! Jesus sits on the throne as King of Kings. He is still in charge! And one day, He will return bringing salvation and justice. We must continue to hold on to hope. God has a plan for His people. All things WILL work together for the good of those who love Him.
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. – Romans 15:13
*Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.