“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”- 1 Timothy 2: 1-4 (NIV)
As a youth pastor, there are certain conversations I always look forward to having with the kids. Some of them include relationships, personal faith, how do we know God is real, and many others. However, I have made it a rule to only discuss politics if I am asked specifically by the students.
Although. I will freely discuss with adults in a civilized and open-minded conversation, but most of the time I will avoid sharing my party of choice or who I will be voting for.
This last weekend, I had a student ask me point blank, “Bobby, who will you be voting for?” I tried to avoid the question, but the same question came back at me. I could not avoid it.
I chose to refrain from saying exactly who I would be voting for, but listed a few names that have moved my thinking and seem to hit some points that cause me to peek up and pay attention to who they are.
I then let them know the type of person who will receive my vote.I will vote for a person who cares about humanity. I will vote for a person who has a decent track record of integrity and holding firm to their word, which is rare in politics, but possible. I will vote for someone who is willing to lead with gracious words and peaceful thinking. I will vote for someone who is willing to be strong, but humble enough to recognize they need help.
I won’t vote for a liar. I won’t vote for a person who is selfish and self-righteous. I will not vote for someone who shows disdain for another person due to their “red” or “blue” ties. I will not vote for a person who is willing to shove moral ethics aside in order to keep their financial sponsors happy.
Most of all, I will pray for whoever becomes our leader and trust that God has a plan. My vote is important, but my prayers are more valuable than pushing a button on a touch screen or punching a hole in a ballot.
Ultimately, I will never shy away from discussing political topics as a follower of Jesus because I see it as a great way to describe and define the ideal leader we should be watching for. It’s an opportunity to share thoughts and dialogue about hopes and dreams for our nation and society. It’s an opportunity to discover differences and appreciate the convictions of others.
It’s a great way to show that Christian’s can be loving and supportive of everyone, whether they agree or disagree with our thoughts.
May we be willing to have open dialogue about our political views. May we be honest and not cower away from different standpoints on controversial topics. Most importantly, may we always remember the rhetoric we use in heightened political times can either shine light in the world or assist in spreading the darkness that is being cast around the world, so let us use our words wisely.
Let us have open ears, open hearts, and open minds in regards to the individuals running for the leader of this country. Let our prayer lives be enhanced as we make our decision for the future of our young people who are so curious to know what they should be looking for in the person they seek to lead them.
QUESTION: Andy Stanley said “We should not allow our politics to define our faith. We should let our faith define our politics.” Do you agree?