Messy politics do indeed exist in the Christian world. Whenever you have people vying for control you have politics. Whenever you have people putting their own interests before others (something we are all guilty of) you have politics. Whenever you have people wanting to prove themselves over others you will have politics. Whenever you are working with money you will have politics, and the more the money, the messier the politics. Politics are always messy, even Christian politics.
Is there a way to work through a political problem in such a way that all parties come out the other end without long lasting offense? As Christians, what can we do to work through our messy politics in a way that honors Christ? Well, of course you cannot control the actions and feelings of others, but there are ways to keep your own heart right as you work through the political maze.
Look to the Word of God:
1) The parable Jesus tells in Matthew 18:21-35 makes the point quite clear. You must forgive. Why? Because you have been forgiven a debt you could never repay. It doesn’t matter how much a person may offend you—the fact is that you offended the infinite, perfect, and holy God and He chose to forgive you. How much more then shall you be quick to forgive others?
2) James 1:5 says that if you lack wisdom you can ask God for it, and He will give it to you generously without reproach (without scolding you). That verse is written in the context of producing endurance in one’s faith through difficult times. So if you don’t know what to do, or what decisions to make, you can ask God for the wisdom to make the right choices.
3) Proverbs 11:14; 12:15; 19:20-21 and other similar verses tell you to seek wise counsel. You might think you are making the right political decisions, but if two or three Christian friends disagree with you, you might want to reconsider your stance. There will often, if not always, be people around you who have already dealt with the problems you are now facing. Read the story of Solomon’s son Rehoboam in 1 Kings 12:1-19. Rehoboam rejected the experienced adviser’s counsel, and went with his “drinking buddy’s” advice instead. That foolish mistake split the kingdom.
4) Ask yourself the question: What does God want to come out of all this? In Christian politics the answer to that question is that God wants His Name to be honored, and that His church will grow. Christians bickering amongst each other dishonors the Name of God, and hurts the Church. Simply put, you must put aside all your selfish desires, and put God’s good Name and the Church first.
So, first don’t hold on to offense. Second, ask God for wisdom. Third, seek wise counsel. Fourth, seek God’s will and don’t be selfish.
You cannot control the actions or feelings of others, but if you stay humble and look to God, you can successfully navigate through the messy political maze and come out the other end with the Lord’s favor.
A Song of Ascents. Of David.
I was glad when they said to me,
“Let us go into the house of the LORD.”
Our feet have been standing
Within your gates, O Jerusalem!
Jerusalem is built
As a city that is compact together,
Where the tribes go up,
The tribes of the LORD,
To the Testimony of Israel,
To give thanks to the name of the LORD.
For thrones are set there for judgment,
The thrones of the house of David.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May they prosper who love you.
Peace be within your walls,
Prosperity within your palaces.”
For the sake of my brethren and companions,
I will now say, “Peace be within you.”
Because of the house of the LORD our God
I will seek your good.