Here at Blue Ridge, we don’t talk about politics. I like that.
But these days, it’s a seemingly unavoidable topic. In one of the most contentious presidential primary seasons most of us can remember, we are bombarded by news, social media, conversations with friends and telemarketing survey calls during dinner.
For the first time in years, I feel my blood pressure rising over politics in a way it hasn’t since college. Back then, I was a communication major with a second major in political science. I loved to watch debates, write op-eds and freely share my opinion.
I went on to get my master’s in public administration. I taught a few semesters of government at the community college. But over time, I lost any passion I had for it.
I agree with Will Likins’ assessment of 1 Peter 1:17 that once you realize this world is not your home, that you are just a foreigner and a tourist, you don’t get so bogged down in local politics and power struggles. You live with your eyes toward home.
Still, we are traveling through this world, in this country. It does impact our journey. And lately, this presidential election has been a bit of a crater to navigate.
I have found myself more angry and more fearful.
It feels like we need to do something. We need something to change.
I think that’s probably how we got here. Anger. Fear. The longing for change. But maybe we, as Americans, have been going about it all wrong.
Maybe the something that needs to change is me.
I recently heard a podcast in which the speaker said, “What would our country look like if everyone were just like me? Would it be any better?”
If I really look deeply at my heart, my faults and the way I treat others, would it be better?
That truth can be challenging, but also hopeful. There is something I can do — we can do.
In the power of the Lord, we can love our neighbors. We can treat others as we want to be treated. We can pray for our country and its leaders. We can be the kind of people who would make it better, just by doing what Jesus did: Loving God with all of our heart and loving others as ourselves.
That makes sense, because it’s not truth from this country, but from our home.
So, in this crazy political season, let’s look to truth more, fear less and love God and others with our whole hearts.
One of the religion scholars came up. Hearing the lively exchanges of question and answer and seeing how sharp Jesus was in his answers, he put in his question: “Which is most important of all the commandments?”
Jesus said, “The first in importance is, ‘Listen, Israel: The Lord your God is one; so love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.’ And here is the second: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ There is no other commandment that ranks with these.” — Mark 12: 28-31, The Message