Our culture is inundated with prospective people to follow. Open up your smart phone and click on any social media app and millions of people are competing for your attention.
Twitter is full of people trying to stay relevant enough to be retweeted, and followed by hundreds and thousands. Instagram has millions of pictures crying out for your heart, Facebook had hundreds of posts in my News Feed this morning with people arguing about whether we should or should not vote for this candidate or another (#nevertrump #crookedHillary #lyinTed #feelthebern).
It's very easy to get caught up in the spin of it all (Lord knows I have!) and chase attention from people we will never know personally and give attention to people we will never know personally. I'm not anti-politics, but I refuse to follow any candidate and here's why.
1. Men of God don't emulate personality traits of politicians that are unpleasing to God. When I use the word follow, I'm not using a Twitter or a Facebook or an Instagram moniker, but I'm literally talking about placing yourself subconsciously and consciously under the influence of someone else. If he doesn't like this, I don't like this. If he's proposing to do it this way, I'm backing him tooth and nail because he has my vote!
Grown men are getting into fistfights at political rallies and grown people are name-calling and losing friends over political affiliation, even within the same party. I'm not discussing our right to vote for who we think will do the best job for America in the coming years—I'm sure going to cast my vote—but just because I'm voting for someone doesn't mean I line up morally or ethically with all they say or do.
I have the ability, and so do you, to cast a vote for someone without acting like them. It's unfortunate, however, that recent elections have required Christians to vote the lesser of two evils or sit out the election and be responsible for doing nothing.
2. Men of God know their kids watch them closely and will emulate them. Politics is a dirty business and a flesh-driven game. As men of God and dutiful Americans, it is our responsibility to teach our kids how to navigate the political process while still holding to our morals and ethics. My oldest daughter voted for the first time in the last presidential election and my middle child voted for the first time in this primary.
I've had to lead by example and show a love for our democratic process while maintaining a separation from the political fray. This is a difficult balancing act. Allowing our relationship with God to trump our political affiliation (see what I did there) will always help us adjust our behavior when needed.
3. Men of God know they are called to follow Jesus. Jesus said, "Follow Me", and I followed. About eight years ago, I was a mess, my marriage was a mess and my kids were collateral damage. I ostracized myself from friends and family because of my passionate political beliefs. I chased things of this world and I had an opinion about everything. I was forced to one day make the decision whether to crash and burn, or choose Jesus. I chose Jesus.
In choosing Jesus, I lost my vehement views about politics and I lost my six-figure-salary career. I lost some material things, but I gained so much more! I gained grace, love, forgiveness, my marriage back, my kids' respect, a career serving God and a new perspective on life and this culture.
The apostle Paul wrote my life verse in 1 Corinthians 11:1: "Follow me, as I follow Christ." This verse changed my world. I don't need to follow a politician or trust in a politician. I need to follow and trust in Jesus, and I can't do both. Now, I'll follow who God puts in my life, as long as I know they follow Jesus. Pastors, mentors, fathers, spiritual fathers—if they don't follow Christ, I will not follow them. I'll love them, I'll pray for them, I may even vote for them, but I won't act like them.
Let me leave you with something God placed in my spirit eight years ago.
"If I offend someone with my politics, I'll never have the opportunity to tell them about my Jesus."
Which is more important?
Manturity.com is a website written by men for men. The goal of the site is to build more mature men spiritually. For the original article, visit manturity.com.
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