Wednesday, 05 November 2008
Guest post submitted by IMChurchmouse
This past election was a really hot contest, and many very personal attacks happened in its process. But now, as the celebratory debris of streamers, balloon waste and confetti is being cleaned up, the reality is that one American citizen has won, while another American citizen has lost. Every election where the current President is outgoing (not running), is a dramatic and frenzied one.
So, I sit back and listen to all the information I can, and try to find a place called "objective listening" as the slug fest ensues.The world at large watched it all happen, and I found it interesting to hear some of my foreign friend's perspectives on the candidates and their issues, and even what they thought about my country's future should each one become our next president. Sometimes, our candidates held up under the scrutiny. Sometimes, they or their allies didn't behave so very well or nicely. However, there seemed to be a confidence that the general population here in the US will be strong in supporting our next leader, since we get to choose them. Arguments about the electoral college aside, that's an accurate conclusion to come to. Our leader is not appointed by a monarch, nor is our leader born into their succession of leadership. And - so far - our leaders have not been put into power due to any military coup, though egregious assassinations have occurred. Overall, we have appeared to be reasonable people who follow a civil process of government.
Yesterday, after seeing the results from the voting precincts come in, John McCain responsibly announced that he conceded his bid for the Presidency to Barack Obama. That Obama had won enough votes to be our next president, was plain to see at that time was indisputable. In his speech, he spoke calmly but movingly about history being made as we chose our first President of African-American descent. He indicated that he found our new president a man of good character and then said that he would support our new President elect without any reservations for the good of our country and its people. That we can and should be excited about what lies ahead now that the "voice of the people" has spoken through our counted votes. I have a friend who surrendered her very identity as she campaigned for her chosen candidate; and others who seemed to lose theirs now that they know the results and aren't happy.
I wonder if we can all go back to living good lives of honorable character, and speak civilly to one another about what needs to happen next. I really hope so, but I have my doubts, so I'll be warily watching. These people actively did things that were not kind or Godly in their pursuit of their candidate's goals, and some are responding in the same vein as the results are now known - in unkind and ungodly ways. Does anyone seriously think that God had a favorite person or even country to huddle over? Let's get those ideas soundly rebuked by reading the Father's Book here: 1 Peter1:17: And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of Him during your time as "foreigners in the land."
First, and foremost: God is still in control. He is the same God today, as he was yesterday or the day before. He is the same through good times as the bad times. It is WE who can't seem to be stable and strong in our successes or failures. If you can't trust a new leader, you can and should trust God. Titus 3:1: Put them in mind to be in subjection to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready unto every good work.
While we cannot control another person's choices, we can be good influences. As believers and as citizens, let's follow scripture as we do that: 1 Timothy 2:8 In every place of worship, I want men to pray with holy hands lifted up to God, free from anger and controversy. Scripture says that we are to support and PRAY FOR our leaders: 1Timothy 2:2 Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.
Let's do that now: Gracious God, Lover of our souls, help us to repent of our wrong thoughts, actions and intentions. I pray that each of us may be a beacon of rationality, reason, and responsibility as we do our best to support our new leaders that have come to their positions as a result of this election. Thank you for the good ways that we could live through this time, and that we have learned how to be civil in the past. Help us to root out those who would breach our internal peace with illegal activity or even just plain rude behavior. I pray for the physical safety of our new leaders and their families. Please frustrate all of those who would plan or plot against them, and keep our testimony clear of how this form of Democracy can work in a sober and calm way for the greater good of its citizens. I ask that You keep us clear minded in doing all we can to repair what's gotten broken in our governmental processes, economy, and due processes. Help us to focus on doing the good that we can, in a strong and confident way; rather than sowing strife and discord against others. Amen.