Preaching to myself: faith and politics

I posted this to a thought-provoking discussion on Facebook:

As we were driving to San Diego for an optometry conference today, we were talking about this issue of Christianity and politics. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to come up with the definitive answer or solution to all our nation’s woes. OK, I’m joking about that last part, but here are some of my thoughts:

1. We can’t look for political solutions to spiritual problems.

2. At the same time, we can’t use that as a cop-out. Political solutions make a HUGE difference — look at the abolition of slavery as a result of men like William Wilberforce working within the political system of his day.

3. Too many Christians (and I’m pointing a finger at myself) have failed in BOTH arenas: spiritual and political. Yesterday was the National Day of Prayer and I didn’t even know about it until last night. I’m not the most informed voter. I’m not writing letters to my representatives or even praying for them as seriously as I should.

4. Too many of us (me too) are lazy, soft, and selfish.

How are we doing on the spiritual battle front? The typical “prayer breakfast” has food, speakers, music — and very little actual prayer. How many of us are on our knees, repenting for our own sins and failures first, and then humbly pleading with God on our nation’s behalf — and refusing to give up? How many of us are allowing God to lead us? How many of us are standing up for true justice and asking God to break our hearts over the things that break His?

How are we doing on the political front? I’m sorry, but sometimes we — as Christians — act and look like idiots. The majority of us don’t even bother voting. We major in the minors and get our knickers all in a twist over stuff like whether the 10 Commandments can be displayed in public schools. We are uninformed and spout off in ignorance…yeah, and I’m looking at myself in the mirror right now. We render ourselves ineffective.

You are right, Isaac, that God in His Providence has placed us here, in this time and place. He has a different calling on each of us. But He has also placed us in positions of stewardship, with responsibilities, rights, and privileges. Am I a good steward of my American citizenship?

At the end of our lives, will we have made a difference? Will we have allowed God to use us for good or will we have wasted our time and talents? Those are uncomfortable questions for me. But I need to ask them of myself…and I need, more importantly, to seek God’s answers.

Sorry if this seemed like a sermon…

I am thankful for the son who started this discussion. He has never shied away from asking hard questions…starting when he was only two. I kid you not. And he’s never been satisfied with easy answers.

So here I sit, with more questions than answers. I’m reminded of that verse: “If any of you lack wisdom…”  If? It’s not a question of “if” — I lack wisdom. Period. God help me. Guide my thoughts and deeds. Use me.

“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14 NASB)

Who knows whether we have been born for “such a time as this”? Will we have the courage of Esther to say, “If I perish, I perish”? What is my life really worth if it accomplishes nothing of lasting significance?