What’s the first word that springs to mind when you hear Hillary Clinton’s name or watch her during the debates? What about Donald Trump? I guessing in both cases that word isn’t…“humble.”
Many Christians find it hard to vote for candidates so hungry for power, fame and fortune. Frankly we should be reluctant to support anyone ostensibly willing to do and say anything to occupy the White House, possibly the most influential political position in the world today.
We’re rightly conflicted because we understand that humility is the very essence of Christianity. We’ve placed our faith in the most powerful, yet humble leader the world has ever known – Jesus. We understand that God Himself performed the most humble act in world history. Despite His omnipotence and righteousness “being found in appearance as a man, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to death — even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:8)
Despite their arrogance and ambition, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are the only choices we have in the presidential election. However, they’re not the only choices we as Christians have during this election season. We can choose to:
- Swallow our pride and strong opinions about what’s right and wrong with America and the two candidates, realizing our own actions speak louder than our words.
- Humble ourselves before almighty God and accept that He is in control, realizing He can use evil for good, even if our worst fears are realized in this election.
- Stand in stark contrast to the two presidential candidates by demonstrating humility to a world that increasingly views Christians as dogmatic, arrogant and judgmental.
- Stoop to the level of a humble servant and #CastAnEternalVote for our coworkers, neighbors or total strangers in Jesus’ name.
The Crux of Christianity – Humility
No, “humble” isn’t the first word you’d use to describe Hillary or Donald, but it is the first word the Lord uses to describe His followers. The Sermon on the Mount begins with a long list of those who will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven – opening with those who are “humble”. (Matthew 5:3)
It’s the first prerequisite for accepting God’s grace and starting down the path to becoming a disciple. Without humility, we won’t confess our sins, repent and exchange our old lives for new lives in Christ. (Galations 2:20, Galations 5:24)
It’s the first and only means to live out God’s plan for our lives – the Great Commandment. We can’t love the Lord with all of our hearts, souls and minds or love our neighbors as ourselves unless we humble ourselves before God and our fellow man. (Matthew 22:35-40)
Yes, it’s the first who will be last and the last who will be first. (Matthew 20:16)
For our nation, humility is also the first stipulation for us to receive God’s blessings: “And all of you serve each other with humble spirits, for God gives special blessings to those who are humble, but sets himself against those who are proud.” (1 Peter 5:5)
It’s also the first step America must take to avoid God’s judgment: “Then if my people will humble themselves and pray, and search for me, and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear them from heaven and forgive their sins and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14).
How Can You Help our Country Receive Blessings and Avoid Judgment?
“Jesus called them together and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.’” (Matthew 20:25-26)
This is an important election. You should vote. However, as U.S. citizens we only get one vote and it can only possibly impact which Gentile “ruler” sits in the White House for the next four years. But as citizens of God’s Kingdom, we can cast many “votes” that will help influence who winds up in God’s heavenly house – eternally.
Look again at 1 Peter 5:5 and 2 Chronicles 7:14 – God is waiting for us to humble ourselves. Donald and Hillary don’t appear to be leading us in that direction. Our nation has sinned against the Lord. America not only isn’t turning from its wicked ways, it is spiraling downward as we speak. Christians are vocal in their criticism of where the country is heading, but our words are having little effect on non-believers. Name a moral issue that Christians haven’t lost in court already or find themselves on the verge of losing.
It’s time for us to become humble servants, acting in love. Words aren’t winning people over. In the absence of compassion, our voices aren’t being heard. Jesus understood the proper sequencing of Prayer, Care and Share – acting, then speaking. He knew even His perfect words wouldn’t sink in unless He demonstrated His love first.
The uphill battle Christians are facing today in America is this: Christianity is not an “attractive” religion to a proud, self-absorbed people. Words alone won’t work because Christianity puts forward some notions that our culture finds hard to swallow:
- We’re sinners in dire need of a Savior
- We’re unable to control our fate through our own efforts
- Hard work and discipline won’t allow us to achieve our (eternal) dreams
- The pursuit of happiness isn’t our purpose in this (short) life
- Following Jesus means dying to our selfish desires and plans
- There is such a thing as absolute truth, whereas relativism prevails today
- We are accountable for our actions versus “I’m ok, you’re ok”
Other religions teach, “You can control your eternal destiny by looking within yourself or doing certain things”. Those are much more enticing messages to non-Christians in America, as is the stance of the ever-expanding “Nones” who don’t subscribe to any religious philosophy.
If Christians and churches in America don’t humble themselves, exchanging angry words for humble kindness, then our impact and influence will continue to dissipate. If the immorality and arrogance of our nation’s leaders and culture continues to increase, God’s judgment awaits:
- Imagine God’s disappointment with people who think they have it all under control and don’t need God in their lives, when it was God who gave them life itself and all of their abilities and possessions.
- Imagine how offended God must be when people don’t think they need a Savior; that they can be “good” enough to earn their way into His presence; that somehow the Lord overestimated the cost required for humans to be reconciled with Him when He sent His Son to die for us.
- Imagine His anger at those who don’t even acknowledge His existence. How must God feel when His creation completely ignores the Creator?
It’s Your Turn…
Show your neighbors and coworkers how Jesus’ leadership style is far more humble than these presidential candidates. Demonstrate your humility as a Christian. Before election day, NOVEMBER 8th, #CastAnEternalVote by:
- Performing a simple act of service for someone you know or a perfect stranger in the name of Jesus.
- Sharing your story on your Facebook or Twitter page with the hashtag #CastAnEternalVote.
- Challenging 3 of your friends on Facebook or Twitter to “pay it forward”.
Photo credit (Donald Trump/Hillary Clinton): Drew Angerer/Getty Images