help our neighbor
help our neighbor

Surviving Politics: What is our response to crises?

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

At the root of our political climate is a series of crises that demand responses. To turn on the news is to accept that as individuals, we may never be able to combat all of them. As children of God, however, we cannot turn our backs on what is happening around us, because God is in us. And while that may seem like a heavy burden to bear, our spirituality cannot be dependent on politics. We are all humans, and where there is need, it is our spiritual obligation to help our neighbor.

Choose Love

There is often debate as to what the right response is, but as a Christian, I default to the concept of love. When Jesus asked us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves (Matthew 22:39), He expected that we take the tenants of love and apply them without prejudice. Even when we find it easier to love those like us, we are still called to step outside of our comfort zones to find solutions, free from vengeance, and covered in grace. Christ was the ultimate example of what this should look like:

For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:7-8

God’s Character

What is amazing about God, is that no matter the situation, He is still God. These complicated times are no match for the power of God. He doesn’t abandon us. Instead, we must accept that macro level decisions filter down to infinitely personal dynamics. Political decisions will affect us. No one is immune to what is happening right now. Our communities are no longer local, they are global. To know God’s love is to not cast aside our neighbor – wherever they are. And if we are the ones that are suffering, we are counting our neighbors to not cast us aside.

When God enters our hearts, we are inspired to make a difference – though our individual paths will differ. Don’t fall into the trap of judging each other’s level of activism, political party association, or social media responses. Placing our energy on what we cannot change benefits no one. God isn’t asking us to be our neighbor’s political keeper, instead God is asking us to be our brother’s keeper:

Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.

1 Peter 3:8-9

We are called to make a positive impact on this world in the character of Christ, and not be ashamed to do so. In God lies our trust and faith. He sends the Holy Spirit to lead us to exactly where we need to be. My response may not to be your response, but neither is lesser in the eyes of God when He is at the center of what we do.

Finding Personal Peace

There will come a time where we are tired. The burdens will feel overwhelming and we’ll say – there is nothing else I can do. Do not let grief win. God wants to provide us with rest and comfort – take hold of His promises. Fall into His arms as He covers you with a peace that passeth all understanding. God has a rejuvenating power to heal even the deepest of scars. Let Him heal your heart so you can learn to help others heal as well. We are our brother’s keeper. We are the embodiment of Christ’s love. We are greater than our circumstances because no matter what happens, we are God’s children.

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