I am coming more and more to appreciate the fact that my political perspective is shaped largely by my political convictions. I say that with a certain amount of shame because my political perspective should be shaped by my values which in turn should be shaped by my faith in Jesus Christ. It is just so easy to disagree with a political figure not because her stand is contrary to my faith but because she is part of a different party than the one that I tend to support.
One of the things that I am working on in my political perspective is to take a second look at my reaction to whatever issue politicians are promoting as part of their platforms. One question that I like to ask myself in regard to all the political parties is what is there in their platform that makes it difficult for me to vote for them. If I can list several things about the party that I support, then I know that I am running their platform through my values grid. If I can’t find anything that makes it hard for me to vote for a candidate, I am simply voting for her because she is part of my party of choice.
One question that we should all be asking ourselves during this time of crisis, is how should I respond to those in positions of authority whatever their political stripe might be.
Pray for our leaders
Paul commands us to pray for those in positions of authority (1 Timothy 2:2) and that has never been more important than right now. At the moment here in Ontario we have a Liberal Prime Minister and a Conservative Premier. I need to pray for both of them because both are making difficult decisions. I would not want to change places with either of them.
I have never been in a position in which decisions that I made could mean the difference between life and death for a lot of people. I have never had to make decisions that could affect the future economic well-being of thousands of people. Those in authority have to do that. If Christians spent as much time praying for leaders as they do criticizing them, I have to wonder what the impact would be.
In one church in which I served as pastor, the members of an adult Sunday school class came to me and told me that they had decided to pray for one political leader at the start of class each week. They wanted to know if I would be willing to write a letter to the leader for whom they had prayed telling him that they had prayed for him that week.
The first week they prayed for the Prime Minister and I sent a letter off to him telling him that people had been praying for him. I received a nice letter back thanking me and asking me to pass on greetings to each person in the class. It was obvious that it had not been written by the Prime Minister but we appreciated it anyway.
The next week they prayed for the Premier and once again I sent off a letter. Again I received a letter back and again it was obvious that it had not been written by the Premier. The next week they prayed for their member of parliament. I sent out the letter and to my surprise I received a personal letter in return. They then prayed for their Member of the Provincial Parliament and again we received a personal letter back.
The fifth week they prayed for the mayor of our town and again I sent off a letter. A few days later my phone rang and it was the mayor. She had called to thank me personally. She told me that she often received criticism but that this was the first time that someone had sent her a letter to say that there was a group praying for her. We chatted for about a half hour and at one point she was almost in tears trying to tell me how much she appreciated what we were doing.
During this pandemic we need to be praying for our leaders. They face tough decisions and they need our prayers much more than they need our criticism.
Check it out
I am amazed at what people will believe. It seems that how ever far out something might be there is someone who will believe it. As is true with most things in our tech age, the internet is filled with false information about COVID-19. As Christians we have a responsibility to check out the truthfulness of something before we pass it on.
For a lot of people these are scary times. Seniors hear all the time that they are the most vulnerable group of people in this pandemic. Other people have loved ones working in hospitals, long-term care homes, stores and other high risk locations. Then there are those who have a family member or a friend who has actually been diagnosed with the COVID-19.
The last thing that anyone needs in these times is false information that has been passed on by someone who didn’t bother to check it out. It is much better to send nothing than to send a lie. We have coined the term “conspiracy theories” to describe these far out statements but the term that best describes anything that is not the truth is a lie. COVID-19 is bad enough without any of us adding to the pain that it is causing.
May God bless you and keep you safe during these challenging times.