Tensions have been high throughout this entire election year, especially during the last few weeks leading up to voting day. We are at a critical stage in our country’s history. There was a record number of voters this year versus any other election, and the citizens of our country have been more vocal about their opinion about who they voted for.
Some people are happy with the election results, and others didn’t get what they wanted. There is so much division in our country and our culture, and the devil is going to do all he can to keep our nation divided. People are pitted against each other in an “us vs. them” mentality, and this even includes believers. Christians voted all over the spectrum, from Democrat to Republican.
But it’s time for believers to show our true “color,” and it’s not red or blue. It’s the color of the Kingdom — it’s the sense of our true character. Regardless of whether your candidate won or lost, our focus should be Kingdom of God expansion. We need to be thinking about how we are treating each other, and how we are loving each other. Particularly, how are we loving those who voted differently than us?
We need to be about the Kingdom of God. Jesus is King, and He cannot be voted in or out. As believers, we can walk in the confidence that Jesus is on the throne, He already knew the outcome of this election far before the results came in, and He is the One who holds our future.
However, even Jesus acknowledged the politics/government of man. In Mark 12:17, He said, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” In other words, give your vote to man, pay the taxes, etc., but give your heart to God. People have given their heart to their government, to their politician. If your heart is sold out to your political party, then where is God in your life?
One way we can express God’s heart during these times is to actually live out loving those who didn’t vote the way we voted — to express God’s love for others, regardless of their political affiliation.
We have the great opportunity to practice loving people. With the country as divided as it is, we can put our faith into practice.
How can we do that?
Label everyone you know as your neighbor. Matthew 22:37-39 says, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” Don’t label others as thug, immigrant, republican, democrat, white, black, etc. When we label anybody as something anything less than neighbor, it gives the perception that we don’t have to love them, because they’re no longer considered our neighbors. But that’s not what God says. He says to love those who hate you! Rename those who don’t view politics the way you do as your neighbor. Then you’ll be able to start loving them the way God does.
Another way to walk in faith and love others is to prioritize the expansion of God’s kingdom, not man’s empire. Look at people’s personalities and characteristics through the lens of the gifts and talents that God has given them. Ask God to show you how He wants to expand His Kingdom through that person. He has a purpose for their life; what if you could be a part of encouraging them to walk in that purpose?
As difficult as it may be, place the needs of the other person first. Put the needs of “those” people before yours. Our country has taken sides, but we have to live together and go on. As believers, we have to lead the way by being lovers of people, especially those who don’t think like we think. You can do this by getting to know them. When you put their needs first, you learn a lot about them (and yourself!). Go so far as to ask God, “How do You want to use me to bless them?”
Loving others is a heart thing. It’s not about the other person. It’s about our heart. We need to confess, surrender, and then live it out.
As we travel through this new season, love others actively, intentionally, and with diligence. Love on purpose. Seek people out, engage in conversation, and ask others how you can serve them. It doesn’t mean you have to agree. Our goal should be to learn to love people whether we agree with them or not, or whether they agree with us or not.
No matter if you are rejoicing in the results of this election or if you are struggling, our first step in this new season should be love.
Miles McPherson is the Senior Pastor of the Rock Church in San Diego. He is also a motivational speaker and author. McPherson's latest book “The Third Option” speaks out about the pervasive racial divisions in today’s culture and argues that we must learn to see people not by the color of their skin, but as God sees them—humans created in the image of God.