I hear the collective moan of disappointment, see the hanging head and drooping shoulders, feel the palpable anger stirring of those in my community who are followers of Jesus and hold biblical values.
The 2012 presidential election is over and the dreams of many have been crushed.
“How could they possibly vote that way?!”
“What’s wrong with them?!”
“Don’t they care about this country?! Don’t they care about our children?!”
“This country is going to hell in a hand basket!”
We look to politics and legislation to fix what we see as wrong.
Understand that when people embrace ungodly values they are only acting naturally. We shouldn’t be surprised when they vote for a candidate that does not hold to biblical values. Let me say that again. We shouldn’t be surprised.
Why wouldn’t they vote the way they did? We are all born into a sin nature. We all run towards selfishness, laziness, ungodly values, perversion, me-first-ness, and pride. Those around you who are “voting all whacked out” are only voting naturally. Their vote will change when their nature changes and they embrace godly values. The world will not change through legislation. And if you’re trusting in politics to be that catalyst let me ask you: How’s that working for you? People will not change through legislation.
It’s a matter of the heart. Period. A person is not going to change because a certain candidate is elected, or a particular law is passed. Rom 1:16 does not say “I am not ashamed of the political process, because it is the power of God for salvation…”
Nope. Look carefully at what it says. Don’t breeze over it. Digest it and let it sink into your bones.
“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith." (Rom 1:16-17 NIV)
Go ahead and read it one more time . . .
If you want the world to change around you – if you want your neighborhood, state, and nation to be righteous it is the power of the gospel that can accomplish that. So the question is: How often have you shared the gospel with others? Do a quick inventory of how many times you’ve shared Jesus with someone – anyone. How often in the last week? Month?
Years . . . ?
If you are like many Christians you find it difficult to latch onto the last time you’ve verbally shared Jesus with someone.
And why. I think Paul addresses it right out of the gate in v. 16. We are, deep down, in our everyday lives, ashamed of the gospel. We are afraid to let people know we love Jesus. We are afraid if people know, it will affect a job promotion – we will be shunned – not invited to the office lunch – left out of the birthday celebration rotation. And we hide behind some rationalization that it’s illegal to talk about Jesus in my work place. No it’s not. “I’ll get fired.” Not legally you won’t. And what about your neighborhood? You definitely won’t be evicted from your house if you talk with your neighbor about the grace and forgiveness you’ve received from Jesus.
So what do we end up doing? We hide behind our computer screens yelling over Facebook at those crazies who vote for “the other guy.” Why? Because it’s safe. The worst level of rejection we will feel is being unfriended by someone on Facebook. We hide behind the soft glow of the voting machine because it won’t ridicule me for following Jesus. It’s anonymous. It’s easy not to care what it thinks about me.
Sadly, for too many of us, we vote for a president more often than we share the hope of Jesus with someone.
(… and complain the rest of the time that the world is going down the toilet.)