Updated: Nov 24, 2020
Depending on your definition of when presidential campaigning for the November 3rd election began, these results have been anywhere from 6 months to a year-and-a-half in the waiting.
If you’ve wanted Trump out of office from the moment that he got elected, then congratulations, the day you’ve been waiting for has arrived … and long since passed with lots of contention. Again, for better or for worse. Should you be among the camp that wanted another 4 years, then Saturday the 7th of November was a hard one for you. Not to worry, I will address both camps.
If you read my last article, it’s clear that I didn’t have a party preference going in and voting for a candidate who didn’t have a worldly chance of winning. But I still voted for Brian Carroll and have no regrets.
That said, I still have to figure out how to navigate the storm that’s coming, and has in many ways been showing as the incumbent President Trump contests the results of the election that he lost. We were going to have a storm no matter who won, it was just a question of which storm would be coming, and a Biden victory means Trump will be taking it to the courts and his supporters are very angry about this.
Praying about this led me to the verse we’ve all heard before, Romans 12:15: “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” Unfortunately, this gets really complicated when different people are having both reactions to the same thing, including many Christians who have voted for Trump who are mourning and many who voted for Biden who are rejoicing.
So what was the answer I believe God led me to? “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:32. Thankfully, this is a command, because otherwise we wouldn’t follow it. We need compassion and forgiveness no matter where we are and who we are dealing with.
An Exercise in Compassion
Practically, compassion starts with understanding why each side is reacting the way they’re reacting – Biden supporters didn’t like Trump’s attitude towards people, his tweeting, and the hate that seemed to be stirred up in the form of racism. Hence their rejoicing that he’ll be gone on January 20, 2021. Regarding Trump supporters, many of them are mourning because they see him as furthering Christian ideals and preventing the over-secularization of our Western culture that the Left is attempting.
Step one is real simple: remember we are commanded to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 12:31, Leviticus 19:18). If you are not willing to do this exercise as an act of love, stop reading here.
Let’s move on to step two if you’re up for it. For just a moment, whichever side you are, put aside whether or not you agree with the opposing argument, and just acknowledge that’s how they feel. And sit with that: be okay with the fact that they have a different background and perspective without acknowledging your own agenda.
Next step: think of a time you’ve been in their shoes. Either afraid or in joy. Maybe you were right to rejoice, maybe you were wrong, but either way, you probably don’t like it when someone tries to talk you out of that stage of mind. Why then would you do the same to someone else? “And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.” – Luke 6:31.
You also likely had legitimate reasons, at least from your perspective, to rejoice or to mourn, which means the next step is looking OBJECTIVELY at what’s going on and finding the legitimacy. Donald Trump is a legitimate bully who has stirred up racism, Joe Biden is part of a party that is starting to hate Christians and furthers things like abortion. Objectively, both sides have reason here to have their reactions to the results of the election.
We’re getting close to done: next step is to challenge yourself. Do you believe that if you were in their shoes, with their experiences and personality, that you might believe what they do? Might it be possible that they have access to knowledge you don’t? Even if you’re the one who has something to offer, doesn’t how you offer this knowledge matter? Is it more important to offer knowledge or to be there and pray for the other person?
Up next, your goal is to bring it back to the Gospel – if you can do this in the conversation, bonus points, but since this exercise is as much for you, doing this on your own is good enough. The Gospel is, quite simply, that Jesus Christ died for our sins that we would live for Him for eternity, aka the circumstances of this world are TEMPORARY. Our arguments and disagreements over politics are TEMPORARY, but our King and inheritance is forever.
Lastly, pray for the other person, which I’d recommend doing both in person and privately later. More than that, though, pray for your own compassion to increase – I think you’d be pleasantly surprised how much God is willing to answer this prayer. Though a warning, the means He may use may not be to your immediate liking.
In sum, here are the steps to having compassion on others so you can rejoice with those who rejoice AND mourn with those who mourn in this divisive time:
· Decide to love others in this as an extension of your love for God
· Put aside your feelings on the issue
· Acknowledge that the “other side” has their opinion
· Understand the objective reasons they may feel that way
· Challenge yourself
· Bring it to the Gospel (in conversation and in your own heart)
· Pray to God about the other person and your own compassion
And these commands are not just for the others you interact with: they’re for you. We are to do these things to grow closer to Christ and become more united. It’ll take more time, but I believe God is working something here, something I personally want to step in line with.
Thanks so much for reading – more to come on my YouTube channel.
- Joe from “walkwithgod” (youtube.com/walkwithgod)