I’ve unfortunately been ill today. Nothing serious: a fever, chills, a cough and general blahness. I can’t seem to get warm. I could easily crawl in bed now for the rest of this election night.
In spite of feeling ill, I did make it out to vote today. An easy process, my girl and I were in and out of the polls in about 30 minutes. I think it meant more to me, then it did to her, to be able to accompany her on her first voting foray.
I’m snuggled up at home now under 5 blankets with my dog to keep my feet warm, and I’m contemplating the day.
This world is not our home. We are temporary sojourners here. Our eternal home is being prepared for us by God our Father. So why should the political affairs of this world matter to us? What is our role in the political stage that is set before us on this election night?
The answer is found in 1 Peter 2:13-17:
13 Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme,14 or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. 16 Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. 17 Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.
It is for God’s sake, not ours, that we are to be subject to every human institution. Emperors, governors, presidents, mayors–those elected to punish those who do evil and praise those who do good. Those people elected to bring order and consistency to the rule of this land here on earth.
In verse 15, we see that this is the will of God. And by doing good, by voting our Biblical convictions we shall put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. But it is 16 and 17 that are key; that are the crux of the matter.
We, whose eternal home is in heaven, are to live as people who are free. What does that look like? I believe that it looks like living as though we know that our eternal home lies elsewhere with God our father, but that while we are sojourners here on earth, we will cherish the freedoms that men and woman have fought and given their lives for. To live as people who are free is to not take these freedoms for granted but to cherish them, and act upon them with strength and conviction.
It is disheartening and sickening to know that there are some who use their freedom as a cover-up for evil. These instances should be rooted out and punished accordingly. But if we are living as servants of God, the option to falsely use our freedom for ill will not even be on the table.
This passage ends with beautiful, simple exhortations:
- Honor Everyone: Honor friends, honor neighbors. Honor your enemies. Honor those in office above you. To honor is to treat with godly respect, even in disagreements. There is no room for hatred.
- Love the brotherhood: Love covers a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8) Ask God to grant you the ability to love those you disagree with.
- Fear God: Approach God not lightly but with tremendous, tremendous respect. He is our God. He is supreme ruler of the universe regardless what foolishmen do in terms of governance. And this earth is not our home. We will soon be home where Christ will rule alongside God in a perfect governing picture of truth, justice and love.
- Honor the Emporar: Who ever is elected tonight, we are called to honor him. For this time, he is our commander in chief and must be treated with respect. He must be prayed for daily. His time in office is short, no matter which candidate wins. Let us commit to treating the office and the president of the United States with honor and the upmost respect.