“I work in politics,” I answered.
You could have heard a pin drop.
And then, they changed the topic.
When talking to people in the church about my work, this has happened more times than I can count. And I understand; political involvement has taken a spiritual toll. We’ve witnessed people worship at a partisan altar, take on the name of a voting bloc, or put candidates first and Christ last far too often.
These occurrences have created a healthy amount of fear and skepticism toward Christian political involvement. But like all other realms of this world, we NEED godly people in politics. In fact, I would argue that because of the nature of the system, politics is a key place that Christians can influence for the better while bearing godly witness.
If you are one of the people who doesn’t know how to react to your politically involved brothers and sisters, know that we need your encouragement and love. Here are a few specific ways you can encourage us:
Encourage Us To Be Faithful To Jesus
Our allegiance is not to a political party or ideology, but chiefly to King Jesus. Having other brothers and sisters gently reminding us of this is important.
Encourage Us To Be Kind
Politics is tribal. Extreme partisanship has become a toxic sickness that seems to suck the kindness out of us when we are speaking of or to people who are our political opposites. Encourage us to be kind in all things, and to love our political opponents like Jesus would.
Encourage Us To Be Humble
Humility is not the natural human state, and pride runs deep in politics. We need other Christians to point to the way of Jesus and remind us that in politics and government we should be serving others, not ourselves.
Encourage Us To Do Good Work
Urge us on in fighting against corruption. Urge us on in running good campaigns. Urge us on in defending sound policy. Encourage us to do GOOD work within the political system, not just enough to get elected or get by.
Encourage Us To Look To Our Eternal Hope
When you’re politically involved, it is easy to get swept up in a piece of legislation or campaign cycle and view it as a make-or-break thing. We need people who aren’t involved in the system to remind us that in reality, this vote or election has very little weight in light of eternity. Jesus has won, we know where we’re bound, we know how the story ends, and we know that God is sovereign over American politics as He is over all things – that’s the hope we need.
Being a Christian who works in politics can be a hard and discouraging thing. We need our brothers and sisters to rally around us, point us toward Jesus, and be a source of encouragement.