As I said, I struggle with this. When I look around and see the state of our country, my default setting is to shut down, to close my eyes to the things of this world and to look only at the eternal. After all, these things will fall away. But Christ tells me to love my neighbor. He tells me to care for the orphans and widows. He tells me to speak the truth of his word to a world that is dying. If I surround myself only with thoughts of MY eternal position, what does that say about my duty to that dying world? I think it shows my contempt for it. It reveals in me a prideful judgment. It shows the pharisiacal tendency to separate myself from those who do not act the way I interpret the scripture, to pat myself on the back and say of them, "Shame on you. I would never act that way."
But my actions are silence. My action is to dissacociate myself from the society in which I live. My actions are to think I am better because I do not (fill in the blank). Because I would rather keep peace than speak. Because I convince myself that my thoughts are not going to change the thoughts of others, so why bother? Or even more cowardly, that sharing my thoughts may cause others to think ill of me, and that would bother me terribly. And Christ has been convicting me.
My latest struggle has been with the political situation in our country. As I have watched, I have seen very little of Christ in any commercial, sound bite, or social media post. I refused to watch the debates because all I heard was accusation of what the other candidate was doing (or not doing), rather than sharing beliefs and plans for the future. I have friends and family with strong opinions from both political parties. And I have heard and read Christians share opinions that scream (to me) rage and hatred and disdain. I have heard more of what people are against than what people are for. And so I have chosen to remain silent, because I do not wish to be pulled into any type of mud-slinging debate.
Christ has been convicting me, as I said, on this matter. I had decided not to vote. My opinion was that I could not in good conscience sign my blessing to either candidate. Neither one was a person whose integrity I believed or supported. Some people have said that if I could not support a candidate, then I should vote with the party that shares the majority of my beliefs. I could not do that either, because, again, I have seen much of hatred and dissension and disrespect between both parties, and all I feel is shame for both. I do not feel that either party has a moral high ground. We have turned into a mud wrestling match, and we stand on the side lines, cheering on our candidate, hoping they demolish the other.
...but I digress. Can you see my disdain slipping through? God forgive me.
My point (I think?!) is this. Christ loves me. He wants to fill me personally with himself. He offers me life abundantly and everlasting. And because of the hope I have in him, I can have peace and joy and strength. AND he has placed me in this world, at this point in time. He has a purpose for me, and it is not simply to sit in isolated adoration of him all day long. He does not want me to dissociate myself from this world to the point of having no impact on it. He wants me to be his light. He calls me to be his ambassador. He commands me to share Him with those around me.
So I am praying diligently for a word on what exactly I should do Tuesday. I want to honor God with my choice. I am praying for his guidance as election day inches forward. I am praying that he will show me what he would have me do, and give me clarity and confidence that I am following his lead.
Regardless of the outcome, I pray that Christ will continue to show me ways that I can make an impact in this world, even as I remember that my eternity is not here. I pray that he will continue to convict me of ways that I am not like him, and that he will mold me more and more into his image. May he do the same with you, Dear Ones.