There was a story in the bible of a Pharisee and a tax collector going up to the temple to pray. I’m no theologian but I know enough to identify 3 things. #1 The temple was a holy place where people encountered the presence of God, so going there was a big deal, and a place where you often came with a posture of having AWE and holy reverence. #2 Pharisees had everything looking great about them and were often very intimidating to look at because it seemed as if they had it all together. #3 Tax collectors were bad people, and often they stole large amounts of money from people. Jesus even got a bad reputation for hanging out with these guys.
The Pharisee goes into the temple and prays something like this, “God remember how much I give to you? Remember all the great and wonderful things I do for you? And BTW, I’m holy and THANK YOU GOD, I’m not like that idiot tax collector. BOOM.
The tax collector, knowing that he is a bad person and that the temple is too holy for him, decided to stand far away and pray, because he didn’t feel worthy to go to the temple. His prayer went like this, “God I’m not even worthy to look at you, much less go into your temple, but do this one thing, have mercy on me as I’m a terrible person.”
I know this, the terrible person, the tax collector walked away justified, not the arrogant pharisee. Moral of the story, NEVER LOOK DOWN ON PEOPLE or THINK THAT YOUR BETTER THAN THEM.
Application of the story, stop with the arrogance of thinking just because people didn’t vote like you, that you have the right to judge and look down. Aren’t we all BROKEN people who need love, mercy, and forgiveness? Aren’t we all a nation that needs love and healing? We have allowed the BOX of republican and democrat, to cause us to lash out on our fellow brothers and sisters rather than seeing each other as beloved brothers and sisters made in the image of God.
We have allowed the flawed nature of BOTH sides, to cause division making ourselves a part of the corruption that exist in politics. Here are a few takeaways that I would love to encourage and challenge you on.
#1 When we cause division we become a part of the already corrupt governmental agenda. Stop, be an agent of healing, love people
#2 Don’t rely on your president to do what you are too lazy to do. You want abortion to be stopped, go love on expectant mothers, go volunteer at clinics and show grace, go be love. You want racism to stop? Awesome, me too. Go volunteer with local organizations, go build relationships with people who are different than you, but don’t think you are a part of the solution, when in reality, you’re not.
#3 Stop bashing the candidates. You say, “they are not good people.” NEITHER ARE YOU AND I, and if we had to sit under the scrutiny of an entire nation, we want to go and hide as well. Remember, when Jesus said, “don’t point out the speck in your brothers’ eye, worry about the log in your own eye?” Use this as an opportunity to search your own heart and grow as a person.
#4 Trust God through this election. Remember in the old testament when King Nebuchadnezzar was acting crazy and got arrogant? What did God make him do? God made him eat grass like a cow, so the moral of the story is, God can have his way with Biden and Trump. God is still on the throne and if we take a posture of prayer and pray for our leaders, will be a part of helping with unity, vs the division we are casting with our judgment.
All in love you guys, we can ALL do better.