People Over Parties

Group of people holding hand assemble togetherness

We have all survived another political season. Congratulations, friends.

My son wants me to grab certain signs for different candidates as a keepsake of the midterm elections… it’s just his thing, but I think I’d rather bury them. Because even though the ballot boxes are closed, I still feel the heat. Passions are boiling. People are praising and people are praying, which is usually a good thing if their eyes are focused on the One above. But so many times I look around and think, “This has gone too far… we’ve taken it too far.” What was meant to encourage healthy discussion and spur on change has now turned into violent division. Our society has created this monstrous rift that dives deeper than any political party and widens its gap by the minute. And I wonder, Dear Reader, do you feel it too? Do you feel the lure and sense its pull?

This is such a fierce time in history. War, famine and disaster have always been with us, but our ability to tear each other down has reached new heights. Instead of valuing kindness, we’ve valued our views. Instead of listening, we’ve lashed out. Instead of acknowledging, we’ve accused. We’ve attached people’s identities to causes and campaigns, instead of their Creator. And we’ve done it all in the name of the Left or the Right. It’s sad and disheartening, and I’ve felt myself sink as I’ve been sucked in. But this reality is also the reason I needed to write this post.

I will admit it. I’m a people-pleaser to the core. It’s always been a struggle for me to step out and share my voice when it could make someone angry or upset. *Hence why I tend to avoid the political arena like the plague* But God has been tenderly releasing me from my fear of rejection, and so I’m going to be brave…

I read an article today that made me raise my hands in solidarity. The author, Austin Roscoe, wrote, “We’re not a party. We’re His Kingdom.” Okay, stop. Reread that. We are not a party or a platform. We are the Kingdom of God. A force of redemption and beauty in the midst of a broken world. That is who we are. That is who we are called to be. As God’s Sons and Daughters we were made to walk side-by-side, regardless of our political stances and thoughts. No matter where we stand, we were meant to stand on the Rock. We are told to cling to the gospel in its purest form and hold tightly to one another when we feel like we are being torn apart. Because believe me, dear one, it’s not in your head. There is another force with that hurtful purpose in mind, and we need to pay attention.

As we hold our diplomatic ground, we fix our stares on members of the opposition and declare they are the problem. We take the bait and assign someone’s weight and worth according to their political opinions. But it’s all a charade… a brilliantly masterminded show orchestrated in hopes of blinded us from the true culprit. We have a hidden foe, and we are fueling the flames of his arrows. Arrows meant to penetrate families and annihilate friendships. We have decided to wage war against each other, meanwhile our real Enemy snickers in the shadows.

The Bible makes it perfectly clear. Satan has come to steal, kill and destroy, and unfortunately, he’s pretty good at his job. But make no mistake about it, Satan will always strike at the hearts of God’s children first. And it makes complete sense. Take down the foundation and the whole house falls. Take out the light and you can no longer see. So why are we surprised when churches fail and leaders fall? Why are we taken aback when we see disunity and disdain in the Body of Christ? Why are we surprised when cruel words are exchanged and characterizations are drawn just because others hold opposing views? Why are we surprised when we witness horrible acts hate in the name of personal beliefs? The Kingdom is under attack! And everyone living in the land is feeling it.

Don’t be fooled… We are not each other’s enemies. Instead, we need to be each other’s allies.

We need to be united in the truth of the gospel and the personhood of God. And if we really want to talk political shop, then we need to look at the facts and study the life of Jesus. When He walked the earth, He didn’t come for policies or partisan parties. Some wanted Him to pursue power, but instead He chose people. Some wanted Him to pick religion, but instead He chose relationships. Some wanted Him to focus on laws, but instead He fulfilled them. He didn’t play into the game of governmental tug-of-war because Jesus knew the end of the story. He knew no government would surpass God’s plan. He knew He would conquer and continually overcome. And, thankfully yes, He knew His Church would withstand every fire-filled arrow. It would remain victorious and rise strong and true. Not because the perfect candidates would win the right race but because God’s real triumph had already been won. The cross sealed the sacred deal. It struck down Death and defeated sin. And now our Jesus is alive and He rules above all. A seat in the oval office is too small for the greatness of this King, so He sits with supreme power in the throne room of God. Hope stands. Love wins. God’s grace is enough. And His glory reigns.

Oh Church, we aren’t a party… We are a Kingdom. One where we all belong.

If we are going to spend the rest of our lives together, let’s start getting along now. Can we have disagreements? Sure! Can we fight for what we believe in? Of course! Can we tear one another down in the process? Absolutely not. God’s heart beats for you and for me and for every other person on this planet. Let’s show the world His love, by loving our Brothers and Sisters first. Let’s speak life to one another and affirm everyone’s importance. Let’s see humanity through the eyes of the Father… eyes that see value and worth and purpose.

Because laying down our swords is worth it.

Restored relationships are worth it.

People are worth it. And they will be worth it every time.