The 2016 Presidential Election and Misplaced Passion

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Many of our shortcomings in the Christian life can be boiled down to misplaced passion. We let passion for work, passion for leisure, passion for sports, passion for success, passion for wealth, etc. drive our lives. For many different reasons, we invest our time, energy, mind, and heart into these idols. It is these misplaced passions that get us into so much trouble in our Christian lives. This year, for many of us, we have misplaced our passion into the presidential election.

For almost a year now, I have done my best to avoid writing about this year’s controversial presidential race. Several times, I had drafts written or ideas scribbled down – but every attempt ended with the delete button. But at the risk of sounding super spiritual, I chose not to delete this one.

When our choices for national leader of our country are the definition of a narcissistic businessman, the definition of a crooked politician, and the definition of an unqualified third party candidate – we are in trouble. But we are in even more trouble if we let our passion, whether for or against, one of these candidates and their missions surpass our passion for Jesus and his mission.

The worst part is that some of us have even let the idea that the presidential candidate we support is more aligned than the others with Christianity or better embodies Christian ethics or morality. Let me clear things up a little and save us all some time – none of these mainstream presidential candidates come close to embodying Christian ethics, morality, or beliefs.

Let me be clear – I am not suggesting Christians should vote for one candidate or another OR that they should avoid the voting booth altogether on November 8. I’m not anti-political and I do plan to vote this year. What I am suggesting is that many Christians have made it clear during this year’s presidential race just how misplaced their passions actually are.

It seems to me that for so many of us (myself definitely included at times), our zeal for politics, a specific candidate, or a specific party’s agenda outweighs our zeal for our true King and his mission in this world. Why aren’t stories about growing churches trending on Twitter? Why aren’t articles about Jesus and the good news going viral on Facebook? Why aren’t we talking about holiness and Godly living over dinner and at family cookouts? Why aren’t we spending as much time examining Scripture as we are examining Hilary Clinton’s emails or Donald Trump’s ridiculous statements?

Let’s refocus on the leader that really matters, Jesus; the agenda that really matters, the gospel; and the culture-changing agent that matters, the Church. Please, lets exercise our right and our freedom to vote this year. Lets think and pray through what we ought to do. But please, please lets not let our passion for a presidential candidate and their agenda surpass our passion for Jesus and his mission in this world – that all might hear the gospel message and turn to Him. Let us be more passionate and more vocal about our King than we are about our president.

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