Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Post-Election: What would Jesus do?

Today on Facebook, I've seen the worst of people and the best of people as a result of the 2012 presidential election. I am also saddened to have sees good people behave so ugly.  Even Mitt Romney handled his loss with greater aplomb and grace than many of his Christian-based supporters!

I also find it curious that individuals who profess themselves as Christian, that Jesus Christ is their Lord and Savior, would spew such hatred, then use the excuse that they are not perfect but “Jesus loves me anyway” as justification for spewing such hateful things about an individual s/he doesn't even know. One Facebook post purported that “Satan was re-elected,” then later in a comment states that if that's God's will, it shall be. Is this individual insinuating that God wants the “devil” to run this country? And if it is truly God's will, why make such a post that decries the very outcome of the election in defiance of God? The appearance is that in this instance, the profession of one's self as a Christian is in name only; but that a Christian does not make. The purpose of Jesus' existence and His teachings was so we'd come to understand, live and walk in this life, given to us by His Creator and Father, like Him! This demonstration of hateful piety, and the excuses to justify the hateful behavior falls well short of striving towards the calling question, “What Would Jesus Do.” Additionally, if we are to behave so ugly, judgmental and hateful because we're not perfect, but “Jesus loves me anyway,” then by this argument, we all would be loved, including the very man who was voted president, right? And then according to the original statement, wouldn't this also imply God loves “Satan?” And does the statement “Jesus is my Lord and Savior” imply that by simply saying the words, you are forgiven for such actions and “in” with Heaven, without genuinely living and expressing the spirit of Jesus in your heart, in your actions, in your life?  Last I checked the teachings of Christ, Jesus was a proponent of love, not hatred. If one professes to truly be a Christian, love wouldn't be simply a word thrown around, but an action and a way of being and expressing, no matter how others show up, no matter how things turn out, no matter how any of us disagree with each other. It's not an easy task, and we do falter, as many today did on Facebook, but it is what Jesus invites us to consciously live and to consciously choose in action. The actions and expressions by many self-professing Christians demonstrated a vast contrast to the practice of a true genuine Christian. And what Jesus taught, by the way, was unconditional love, not selective love.

To offset such ugliness on Facebook, I found great appreciation and respect for those who voted for the other guy, and who also expressed their disappointment with the outcome with humility and respect, demonstrating the “higher spiritual road” of their Christian faith. These Facebook posters also accepted this outcome as “God's will” but choose to honoring and supporting that “will” moving forward. Some even chastised fellow disappointed supporters for their blatant show of disrespect for the President. Many stated they would pray for the President, though I cannot personally know what they are praying for; but I would hope that we'd all pray for our entire governmental system, because as easy as it is to make one man the scapegoat for all our country's problems when in fact, one man cannot single-handedly be responsible for the lack of progress these last four years. Polls show growing dissatisfaction with Congress, and its no wonder when everyone from both sides of the aisle are acting like a bunch of kids on a playground at odds with one another. (Hmmm, sounds kind of like Facebook.) These individuals significantly contrast to the vehement Facebook posters by demonstrating the genuine practice and grace of their faith; you could say they are walking and living their talk of Christianity, not just talking the talk of Christianity.

Look, as the one Facebook poster pointed out, we are not always going to show up perfectly, but once we realize we haven't, if we are to “walk that talk” we must turn that ugly side we've shown around and own it.  Own responsibility for the less-than-stellar behavior or choice, realize we showed up less than Christian-like, and be open to looking at ourselves and ask the question, “What would Jesus do?” had He been in this situation. Our task isn't just to profess our belief, it's to LIVE it! Unfortunately, I see far too many hypocrites, (and yes, Jesus does love them) than I do authentic practitioners living the Christ-like life. Their walk isn't mine to judge, these are simply my observations. Their walk is truly between them and God. I simply invite more authenticity, less spewing of hatred and contempt, never mind self-righteous condemnation, in the name of Jesus Christ. I'm pretty sure Jesus didn't do that and wouldn't do that.

As a final note, before placing my personal vote, I decided to let go and let God be present within this election and the outcome. My vote counts, each one of our votes count, but I trust more deeply in God than I do any other human, be s/he a family member, a co-worker, a friend, or the leader of this country. Our faith can be shaken at times, especially when what we want doesn't come to fruition, but its in those times in which true faith and our practice in it is demonstrated. As the country song reminds us, “some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.” We can not, may not ever know what would've happen had things gone differently, so we are better served in our relationships with each other, and to our country to work with and support what we've got right now, not what we could've had. God made you, me and both these presidential candidates. How could any of that be wrong?

1 comment:

Jim said...

AMEN sister professing Christians do great harm in leading others to Christ. So I pray for strength to be a prcticing Christian and I pray for our nation and all peoples of God's creation, and then for His guidance to treat each with the love and compassion of true Godly love. Jesus not only loved the lovable but also the unlovable. May God bless each and everyone who reads this and let us all join in prayer for ALL of God's creation. Yours in Christian love, Jim