by Billy Beasley
Next month, when I return to write my monthly column, I am glad that the election season will be over. I heard our Pastor say last week in his message about politics that when we engage in them, to make sure that we have the fruits of the spirit working in our lives. Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Faithfulness, and Self-Control.
We don’t see a lot of this in action on social media, do we? I am continually amazed at people arguing with perfect strangers and resorting to name-calling when they disagree.
In all the chaos of our nation, I would hope that we Christians, ask ourselves what is my identity? Is it being a Democrat or a Republican? Is it in being a Methodist, Presbyterian, Catholic, Episcopalian, or any other denomination? For those that are active protestors and some I know to be Christians, have you maintained your identity or is it shifting? And to be clear, from my viewpoint, there is nothing wrong with peaceful protest.
It is easy to get so caught up in a cause that the cause can become our identity. We might start out believing that overall, our cause is good and just and Christian but are we living that way as we engage with people? Are we living with the fruits of the spirit or have we tabled them while we rant about politics on social media and march in the streets?
There are many wonderful quotes about love by Martin Luther King and this man had every reason to hate. But he chose another way.
I will venture to say that if our identity is truly in Christ, it is impossible to live a life of hate. Will we get upset with others? Absolutely? Will we be passionate about our causes? Yes. But if our mindset, if our hearts are constantly filled with our causes first, we have lost our way.
As for me, I will continue to live my life, always trying to treat people fairly and in a respectful manner. That applies even if we don’t see eye to eye on certain things. I will not resort to name-calling. I won’t unfriend you on Facebook if you don’t vote the way I do.
Maybe I should care more about politics than I do. It is all I can do to make the effort to vote. Both parties and the entire system greatly disappoint me. I think career politicians are a plague in our nation. I think that when a bill is voted on the focus should be entirely on that bill. But with politicians, it is an exchange of favors. I vote for this and you give me this and nowhere in the process do I believe that they sit down and really talk about what is good for the people of the United States.
I get weary of the half-truths and the sound bites that hold only a sliver of truth. And the way politicians act like third graders when they don’t get their way. Maybe I shouldn’t say that. I probably just insulted third-graders everywhere.
If you are a Christian and I mean by that that you consider yourself a follower of Christ. That you have a real relationship with Him. I am in no way shape or form talking about religion and religious practices. I have something I would ask you to think about.
That person that you are arguing with over politics and maybe not having the fruits of the spirit actively engaged in your life in those moments. What if that person does not know Jesus and God has chosen you to be the vessel to reach that person? What is more important, your political opinions or the person you are arguing with?
Regardless of what has happened when I return next month to write this column. I will pray for our President, regardless of who wins the election. I will pray for our nation. I will give whoever wins a chance.
And I will do my best to not fall into the trap of the wonderful quote below.
And I will remember that come November 4th, I know where my identity lies. And that my King still sits on the throne.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. – Matthew 6:33
First. Ahead of your causes, your politics, your protests, your being comfortable with your denomination and its practices. First…And when we fail, which we will inevitably do, return to this scripture. Rinse, repeat.
God bless you all.
About the Author
Billy Beasley resides in Carolina Beach, NC with his wife Julie and their Australian Cattle Dog, Teke.
The Preacher’s Letter is his second traditionally published work of fiction.
Billy’s shares two simple beliefs with his favorite character in his first novel, The River Hideaway—Faith in God and a conviction that ‘Hearts have no color’. His third novel, The Girl in the River, released in July 2020.
You can read his “Sunday Inspiration” column on the 2nd Sunday each month here at Mustard Seed Sentinel.