Fire in My Bones, by J. Lee Grady

Want to receive Fire in My Bones by email? Sign up here
(© Vitaly Vitorsky)

Jesus looked beyond politics. We must find the grace to love both Democrats and Republicans.

People didn’t vote in ancient Israel, nor did they put “KICK THE ROMANS OUT!” bumper stickers on their chariots. But there was plenty of political anger seething in Palestine, even without Fox News, CNN and MSNBC around to stir the pot.

Jews especially abhorred tax-collectors since they worked for the Roman Empire. Yet when a chief tax-collector named Zaccheus showed up to hear Jesus preach in Jericho, Jesus called Zaccheus down from a sycamore tree and proposed a meeting at his house.

I’m sure the crowd was shocked that a holy rabbi would fraternize with one of Caesar’s cronies. They probably expected Jesus to give Zaccheus a lecture on the evils of embezzlement. But the Bible doesn’t say Jesus talked to him about his fraud or the injustice of Roman occupation. Their meeting wasn’t about politics.

After one visit with Jesus, the infamous Zaccheus repented of his crimes and pledged to give half his possessions to the poor (see Luke 19:1-10). Jesus’ act of kindness led to a big heart change.

This was Jesus’ style. He looked beyond race, class, sectarian divisions and social labels. He was as comfortable talking to prostitutes and condemned criminals as he was to synagogue officials and Roman centurions. He looked into men’s hearts with a piercing laser beam, not so He could judge their sins but so he could shine the light of His mercy.

And today Jesus calls His followers to love everybody that way. And “everybody” includes Democrats, Republicans, liberals, conservatives, Jesse Jackson, Rush Limbaugh, President Obama, Mitt Romney, Joe Biden, Paul Ryan—and, yes, Clint Eastwood!

I’m saying this because too many of us lost our religion during the recent presidential campaign. While political commentators screamed at each other like banshees on Sunday-morning talk shows, Christians unfriended each other on Facebook because campaign rhetoric grew so hateful. These days it seems we can’t even eat a Chick-fil-A sandwich without triggering a war of words! 

Regardless of who wins on Nov. 6, we need to make some attitude adjustments:

Love people regardless of their political views. I’m involved in a Christian ministry that confronts the abuse of women globally. Yet there are many people in the secular arena, including Hollywood celebrities such as Susan Sarandon and George Clooney, who share my concern about domestic violence and sex trafficking. Recently I had to face the ugly fact that I had made bitter judgments against these people because of their left-leaning views. I can’t be a vessel of Christ’s love if my heart is full of hate.

Quit making politicians into gods. At the root of today’s angry rhetoric is the notion that politics can solve our moral problems. Christians in the United States, especially since the early 1980s, have embraced an unhealthy infatuation with political power. We clamor for King Saul to save us when God wants us to trust Him.

News flash! Ronald Reagan didn’t save us. Neither did Bush No. 1, Clinton or Bush No. 2. Neither Obama nor Romney will deliver us. And let’s not forget that the Jesus movement occurred during the terms of Johnson (a Democrat!) and Nixon (a Republican!).

Frame your words with kindness. In our culture it has become in vogue to be hot-headed. Candidates and commentators throw vitriolic barbs like grenades, and when the discussion is moved online, cyber-zealots drop F-bombs to prove their point. In American politics, we thrust, jab, kick, punch, skewer and impale each other with our words.

There is a higher way. The apostle Paul called us to season our conversation with grace (Col. 4:6) and to put on a heart of kindness (see Col. 3:12). But we can’t express kind words if our hearts are full of judgment, racism, hatred or anger toward those we disagree with. If you hold judgments in your heart, they will become like buried mines. When someone walks near them and pushes your button, you will explode.

We must speak the truth, but we must say it in love. It would be better for us to keep our mouths shut if we can’t say what Jesus is saying with His tone of voice.

J. Lee Grady was editor of Charisma for 11 years. He now serves as contributing editor while doing itinerant ministry. You can find him on Twitter at leegrady or online at His newest book is Fearless Daughters of the Bible (Chosen).

Best Magazine Deal. Subscribe now and get 3 magazines for the price of 1. Get Charisma, SpiritLed Woman and Ministry Today, all for $24. YES - I want this deal!

3 Reasons Why you should read Life in the Spirit. 1) Get to know the Holy Spirit. 2) Learn to enter God's presence 3) Hear God's voice clearly! Click Here to draw closer to God!

Did you enjoy this blog? Click here to receive it by email.

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • Roadblock

    6 Roadblocks That Will Stop Your Spiritual Growth

    God wants you to grow in your faith, but many of us get stuck along the way.

  • 2017 is the year that swords will clash.

    Prophetic Word: 2017 Will Bring a Clashing of Heaven and Hell

    "This is a time to cross over and not pull back."

  • Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    I have been puzzled about the subject of inner healing for some time.

  • Cindy Jacobs

    2017: Year of the Breakthrough

    "There will be a significant increase in miracles and signs and wonders."

  • Are you willing to volunteer for God's offensive army?

    Prophetic Word: Preparing for God's World War 3

    God is searching for soldiers of the cross who are willing to volunteer for His offensive army.

  • The devil will try to silence you in any way he can. Don't give him the satisfaction.

    Satan's 2 Most Potent Lies to Render You Ineffective

    There's something in you so powerful that Satan doesn't want it out. Kyle Winkler reveals ...

  • Growing relationship

    2017 Prophetic Word: The Supernatural Key to Growing Your Relationship With God

    It's vital that we understand what comes from God and what comes from the devil.

  • Marriage man and woman

    Why Marriage Is Not Just Between a Man and a Woman

    Marriage is a miracle. Let us treat it like one.

  • Be encouraged to slow down to hear God in unexpected ways.

    A Common Reason You May Be Missing God's Voice

    Out of thousands of people, only six didn't fall into one experiment's trap. Discover how ...

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit