By: Tera Ertz
“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.” Romans 12:6
“Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.” Romans 14:4
I have found myself frustrated in recent days with many of my fellow Christians, nowhere more so than in politics. Some of us are passionate about economic issues. Some of us are passionate about abortion. Some of us are passionate about foreign policy. For some it is health care. For others it is education. Each one of us that engages in political discussion tends to be passionate about something. Passion is a good thing, the trouble is we have failed to understand its place in our discourse.
We each focused on our own personal political passions to the point of obsession. We expend all our energy on our pet priorities, and become dismissive of anything that does not support that particular niche in the political landscape. We grow haughty in our belief that our personal passion is the most important aspect of any political discussion. We become dismissive of the areas others focus on. In the end, we divide over single issues and disagreements not over actual positions or policies, but over how much of a priority our fellow citizens place on our personal passion. We expect them to set aside their own gifts, their own calling, in favor of ours.
Governing a nation is a large, complex undertaking. Even when the government is small, it touches many aspects of our lives. It sets the tone for society. It has the power to build up or destroy. It requires many gifts, distributed among many people, to work well. That means our personal passions are an integral part of rebuilding a functional government in our nation. We desperately need those passions to restore a sense of integrity and servanthood to our political class. The fire of those passions drives our commitment to remain engaged and active in the political arena when the odds against us seem insurmountable.
But, if we are to succeed, we must remember that we need to model servant behavior toward those we seek to persuade. We must remember that our gift of passion for a particular area of governance is no more important than the gifts God has scattered among the others He has called to the public arena in this difficult and trying time. We must keep His will for us centered in our minds and hearts and not become distracted by what we think everyone else should be doing. We must look for ways to lift one another, and praise God for all the gifts He has brought to bear among His people in politics.
In short, we must cease to question God’s other servants motives. They will stand or fall to Him, not us, and He is able to make them stand. Each one of us that follows Christ has been given a purpose in this world we live in. He has gifted each of us for that purpose and called us to our own tasks. Sometimes He calls us to work together. Sometimes He calls us to work alone. It is our job to joyfully and diligently answer His call, and trust that He will equip us with all we need for that task. And let us remember that our fellow Christians are called to serve His plans, not ours.