Politics

During my morning devotion, I was reminded of Jesus and his relationship with the men and women who followed him. They were all excited about the expectation of being released from Roman bondage. They saw Jesus’ miracles, heard how he put the Pharisees in their place and even that he walked on water.

Their Messiah had arrived!

But Jesus warned them of what was to come.  They had a dream; a picture in their minds of what messiah and savior meant. They had pre-conceived ideas of what their Messiah would do for them. Fortunately for us, their ideas didn’t really match Jesus’ plan.

I see Americans reacting in the same way when it comes to politics. We have preconceived ideas as to what would make this country whole again. Some say it’s the Right while others say it’s the Left. Some say Obama while others say Romney. I’ve even heard the argument that if Jesus was alive today, he would be a member of one party and not the other.

Really?

While Jesus respected the authority of government, he never ran for office or involved himself in politics. He was more concerned with eternity. The only movement he focused on was training twelve ordinary men in the ways of their Heavenly Father.

And I praise God that he succeeded.

Political parties and platforms come and go, but God’s word stands the test of time. If I’m available, I might watch some of the presidential debate tonight. But what I make sure to do during my days is focus on what is never-changing. And what remain constant are God’s promises.

God word tells us how to find peace.

God’s word tells us how to live forever.

God word tells us about abundance.

God’s word tells us how to live our lives.

God’s word even tells us many things will happen before he returns, so why, then, do so may wring their hands over political outcomes?

For me, there are so many of God’s promises that I need to fully comprehend. I have little time to get upset over the political colors of red or blue. In this political season, I will not be swayed by rhetoric. I am and will continue to be swayed by the promise of God.

Like looking in a mirror …

… Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” John 4:28-29 NIV

I’ve recently been spending time in the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well. This passage is filled with lesson after lesson, and each time I read it I find something new. This time when I read the story, however, I didn’t stop at verse 26 when Jesus told her that he was the promised Messiah. I decided to keep going … wanting to go beyond Jesus’ declaration. I wanted to study her reaction.

Scripture tells us she left her water jar and returned to the town. I think this is one of those times where scripture is so understated. Think of it … she just met a man who crossed a cultural barrier by talking with her and then <gasp!>, asked for a drink of water from her. He told her that knew her history as well as her present, yet didn’t judge her. Instead, he offered her life everlasting and, along with that, peace. If that wasn’t enough, he then chose to reveal to this broken woman … the first person who ever heard these words from his lips … that he was the promised Messiah.

Incredible! 

I was just like that Samaritan woman. I kept to myself, not giving others the opportunity to know me; afraid of their judgment. I already knew the condition of my life. I didn’t want to hear the disgust in their voices, too. I knew all the terrible decisions I had made; I thought if they knew the state of my life they would recoil from me from revulsion. Furthermore, I judged myself even more harshly than others ever could. It only made sense to me to hide my sins and not talk about them; just as the Samaritan woman tried to hide from others.

I believe that when Jesus asked her about her life and she answered him honestly, she gave him the opportunity that he had been waiting for. She shared a glimpse of her brokenness and he, in turn, offered her salvation and peace.

I believe it’s the same for you and me.

Just as this woman’s life (I believe) was changed forever, so was mine. I have never tired of sharing what Christ’s love, grace and mercy has done for this poor Samaritan-like woman.

We can be so broken inside that hiding past failures and pain seems like the only safe option. But that is farthest from the truth. Sharing past hurts and sins with Christ as well as caring and safe people can be as healing to the spirit as removing a splinter from an infected and festering wound. It’s risky … and possibly painful … but it pays off in the long run.

Consider sharing some unknown hurts with Christ as well as a safe, respected friend. You may be surprised as to what it brings to you.