Last night our political process played out and by a electoral vote of 303-206 and a popular vote currently at 59,584,661 to 56,959,312 Barack Obama will retain his title of Commander in Chief for four more years.
But you already knew that.I've yet to see the concession and victory speeches, having gone to bed early last night. I'll be honest, I really hope Obama put his arms out and dropped the mic at the end of his. Regardless, skimming through the Facebook news feed this morning I've seen everything from ecstatic praise for the victory to people apparently having a little ancient Mayan in their blood based on their cries of the end coming around the corner.
So what is a person who loves and follows Jesus supposed to do?
Simple: remember that your identity is based in the Kingdom of God and not the United States of America. This isn't to negate being patriotic or loving our country. But it does mean living based on a certain set of values and standards set forth by God. I can't make my earthly country live by those values and in many ways I have to really think through the reality of expecting them to, but neither idea prevents me from living like a child of the King.
Part of living as a child of the King means valuing and acknowledge the fact that we are under the leadership of Barack Obama. The Bible is pretty clear on what it means to live as part of the Kingdom of God while under the earthly leadership of the President:
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. - Romans 13:1-7
Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor. 1 Peter 2:13-17
A lot of social media posts I'm seeing are far from honorable. Shame on you if you are Christian and slandering our leader with your disappointment in the election outcome. Other people are watching and reading. How you express your disappointment is a testament to Jesus and to His church. When you talk like a childish junior higher who didn't get his way you are wrong and not representing the Kingdom well at all. Grow up. Keep it together. Remember who your hope is in.
You don't have to like the man's politics. You don't have to like the man. But you do have to HONOR him. In how you speak of him or write about him, in how you disagree with him, in how you live your life in this country under his leadership.
The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will. - Proverbs 21:1