Whether you are excited or disappointed with the election’s outcome we must all face the truth that just because the voting is over doesn’t mean there aren’t choices still to be made. Voting alone does not mark the grand total of our responsibility as citizens of the United States. It certainly doesn’t stand as the only choice necessary for those of us who also claim to be citizens of a heavenly kingdom.
Some other decisions we must now make –
In relating to my opponents, will I choose kindness or mean-spiritedness? If my guy won, can I be gracious in victory? If my guy lost, can I be gracious in defeat? Can I forgive the hurts caused during this election? “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:31-32).
In relating to our new president-elect, will we as Christians do more than simply give lip service to the idea of praying for our leaders? The presidency is a complex and dangerous job. The pressures Obama faces are unimaginable. Whether or not we’re excited by his election or disappointed by it, he needs more than our emotions. He needs our prayers. “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:1-4).
In relating to God, will we put our hope in men or in God alone? While we are to pray for our leaders and wish for them the very best (for when they succeed, we succeed), as Christians we continually remember that our ultimate hope, our redemption, our salvation, comes from Christ alone. As Paul put it in his letter to the Colossians:
“We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God's original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. And when it comes to the church, he organizes and holds it together, like a head does a body.
“He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he's there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross” (Colossians 1:15-20 The Message).