Two subjects we are told to never discuss while with friends, relatives and strangers are faith and politics. With some friends politics is their religion and with me my faith is who I am. It would be extremely hard for me to discuss the things I do, see and read about daily and not have God and Jesus take center stage in that conversation. I am a child of the Almighty Father and when we meet with others don’t we usually discuss family?
This subject came to mind recently when the new speaker of the house was appointed. Speaker Mike Johnson is also a child of God and he speaks endearingly of our Father. This shows me two things.
First, that Mr. Johnson cannot separate his politics from his faith any more than he can cut off his arm and leave it at home. The second is that what we believe deeply in our hearts is who we are and this is true of each of the members of our Congress no matter their faith or politics.
As Christians we are told to pray for those in authority over us – regardless of our opinions of the person. We pray for those who we do not agree with as well as those with whom we agree. We know that God is the one who sets in place individuals who have authority over us. God decides who He uses to do His will. Whether those in authority seek God’s will or not they are in their given position to bring the overall plan of God to His desired end.
I was pleased to see that Mr. Johnson shared his belief of God’s gifting of authority in his first speech to his colleagues, relaying that each of them are in their position to lead our country because God has lifted them up at this very time. I do pray they took his words to heart.
The members of Congress are our representatives in the government. It is our job to pray for those in our government to respect God’s laws and to pray that they will be guided by them. It behooves us to pray for their staff, their family and their advisors as well. Those of us who claim the name of Christian are to do all these things because this is part of God’s plan for us.
We are to pray for everyone, even our enemies, or possibly, especially for our enemies as it changes our hearts as well. We should be praying for the mind of Christ for ourselves, so that we can have discussions of both faith and politics with a love of our Lord guiding our mouths and words.
I find that occasionally I hold back from voicing my faith-filled views on life because I am unsure of the worldview of the person I am speaking with and I do not want to make them uncomfortable. I realize that everyone is not a Christian and they may not have a heart of forgiveness or tolerance, so I am a bit too careful when I speak of God’s will to those I meet in nonreligious environs.
Forgiveness is an essential part of our Christian faith because that is the very reason Jesus died for us, so that we can be forgiven and reconciled with God. We are taught to follow Jesus’ example and if He could forgive my many sins then, of course, I am to forgive others when I believe they have wronged me or my faith. Not everyone feels this obligation.
But, I certainly may share my thoughts with every one of my Christian friends because even if we disagree on either politics or religion we have a love of Christ that transcends that disagreement. In other words, we can agree to disagree and remain brothers and sisters in Christ.
As we go into this season of thankfulness meeting with family and friends, we would be wise to be cognizant of their beliefs and as Christians we are to keep peace whenever possible. In the Beatitudes Jesus tells us, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God.”
I would suggest that we all begin praying now for those who we will be interacting with over the holidays as we realize there may be contentions around either of these subjects. Pray for peace, God’s peace.
We should also be praying for our leaders for wise decisions and for the leaders of the entire world that they would seek the will of God Almighty, which takes me back to the Lord’s Prayer asking that, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” If God were to grant that prayer it surely would make all of our holiday celebrations quite wonderful.
ED. NOTE: Amy Patsch writes from Ocean City. Email her at writerGoodGod@gmail.com.