by Mark West
Another campaign season has gladly come to an end. The nastiness from opponents is behind us. The dissension between “friends” will hopefully end.
But if the election affirms anything, it’s that politics is short-term. Politics is temporal. And feuding over a candidate, particularly amongst friends, is one of the most foolish behaviors in which real friends could or would ever engage.
I supported several particular candidates for various positions. But for me to think that my candidate was the “perfect” candidate that every single voter should support would be the height of arrogance. My values are not the values of others. My priorities are not that of others. And truthfully, neither are yours mine. So if we supported different candidates, who is the wrong one?
I believe that Truth is absolute and God’s values are not only unbending, but they are knowable. God gave us His Word to inform us of His Truths. But who am I to suggest that I have full and complete understanding of all that God instructs us? I do not.
While I do believe that there are clear and unambiguous Truths that are as clear as the sky is above, for me to suggest that everyone should prioritize those Truths as I do, based on my understanding of God’s Word, would again be arrogant.
The Bible is clear though that we are to seek harmony. We are to work for peace. We are to “Do everything without complaining and arguing.” (Phil. 2:14)
If individuals claim to be followers of Christ, the standard is even higher. We are brothers and sisters. The temporal nature of a political campaign should NEVER trump the permanency of our relationship. We are part of an eternal family. America will cease to be someday. And the political candidate you may have supported will be a thing of the past almost as quick as you can blink.
But relationships are meant to be permanent, particularly if they are family. So, if your guy or gal won, congrats to you. If your guy or gal lost, I’m sorry for you. But if you or I did something to damage our relationship, that is the greatest loss of all.
So, if I did offend you in some way, I ask your forgiveness. And if you did something to damage our relationship, I forgive you. And if either of us acted foolishly in trashing relationships for something as silly as a political candidate, I hope we will seek to restore those relationships.
So if there’s a lesson to be learned this election season, it’s that there is no political campaign or politician that is worthy of flushing a relationship over. None.
Now, let’s please God by reaching out to those we’ve hurt or disparaged or insulted, and let’s seek to restore, rebuild and recommit to what truly matters. And then when the next election season rolls around, let’s not repeat this one.
“Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:29, 32
“Avoid worthless, foolish talk that only leads to more godless behavior.” 2 Timothy 2:16
“Don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights.” 2 Timothy 2:23
Mark West is a business executive and the founder of the Chattanooga Tea Party.