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Our Political Challenge

Years ago I learned a simple life lesson. If I want to enjoy my marriage, friends, and coworkers, it is best to be thankful for the blessings they bring, rather than focus on where they fall short. Lately, I’ve been trying to apply that principle to politicians. I’ve been following politics since I watched the first TV debate between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon on September 26, 1960. They debated the vital issues of the time with civility and insight. These qualities are lacking in some of our candidates and citizens today.

Our nation has faced wars, recessions, and terrorism since 1960. Yet this current election has troubled me more than any election in my life. I love our country and pray for our leaders. Many Americans are ignorant about the political process, our precarious financial situation, and the benefits of free trade. Most Americans no longer read the newspaper, or watch unbiased news programs. They get most of their news from the internet and a single channel on TV, so they lack a balanced perspective.

I don’t think most politicians are crooks. Most of them are gifted people trying to help our nation. However, those who make unrealistic promises will make our problems worse if they get elected. I believe we should limit abortions, control government spending, and support Israel. Yet many of those who advocate these positions are unwilling to make room for refugees who are fleeing from ISIS. Some of those who are fleeing are Christians. If we are unwilling to let 10,000 persecuted people who have been vetted into our country because one of them might be a terrorist, we have fearful and selfish hearts.

Jesus commanded us to love our neighbors as ourselves. He illustrated this command with the parable of the Good Samaritan who helped a robbery victim from another nation. We are not excused from God’s command to love others just because they come from another country. The Bible tells us to welcome strangers who are among us (Hebrews 13:1-2). Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, the children of Israel in Egypt, Moses, as well as Jesus, Mary, and Joseph all spent time as refugees in foreign countries. None of them had visas. They all traveled to other nations to escape persecution, famine, or to obey God’s call.

It would be wonderful if everyone had access to higher education and health care. Yet we face a $19,000,000,000,000 federal debt. If deficit spending isn’t decreased, we will have an economic meltdown. We should be concerned with passing on both a good environment and a healthy economy to the next generation. These are not mutually exclusive goals, but both will require significant sacrifices.

America will not be made great by deporting millions of poor people, coercing Mexico to pay for a wall we build, ending free trade, torturing political prisoners, and building a bigger military. Being rich and powerful does not make a nation great. Hard work, abundant natural resources, generosity, and sacrifice have built America. Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people (Pro.14:34). We have won world wars, but we are now losing a spiritual war for the soul of our nation. Jesus asked, “What good does it do to gain the world if you lose your soul?” We don’t need a bigger share of the world’s riches. We need a revelation of Jesus Christ. If we are disciples of Jesus, we will love God and love our neighbors. Jesus gives us hearts of compassion, courage, and wisdom so we can be a light in a dark world.

May God withhold judgment and have mercy on our nation. Lord, please cleanse and enlighten our hearts. Give us discernment so we choose wise and righteous leaders, who love justice and mercy. May the great resources of America be used to fulfill your will on the earth as it is in Heaven.