As I write this, the next president of the United States has yet to be determined. Recounts are underway.
Whatever the election results, how should we respond? How do we move forward as Christians?
* Reject “#NotMyPresident”. If the results of the election are disappointing or disastrous to you, please don’t say or post that the president-elect is not your president. Among all kinds of reasons, it’s chiefly because it’s unbiblical. If it’s hard to honor the president-elect, then honor God by honoring him.
“For the Lord’s sake, submit to all human authority—whether the king as head of state, or the officials he has appointed” (1 Peter 2:13-14a).
* Rejoice daily. For better or worse, over the next four years the president of the United States will be your president all day every day. Don’t ever give it power over your joy.
Wake up every morning and declare: “This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it!” (Psalm 118:24).
“Rejoice! I will say it again, Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4).
* Be good. Be a good citizen. As far as it is up to you, be at peace with everyone. Be considerate. Be kind. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. When insulted, don’t insult in return. Love your enemies. Pay your taxes. Pay off your loans. Respect the authorities. Obey the law.
“Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor” (Romans 13:5-7)
* Do good. Serve your church. Help out your neighbors. Meet needs in your community. Value others above yourselves. Look out for the interests of others not just your own. Love the unloved, unlovable, and unlovely. Minister to the least, last, lost, and lonely.
“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).
“When [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36).
* Be Honorable. Be careful with your words about the candidates. Especially around your kids. Especially around your brothers and sisters in Christ. And especially if your candidate lost. Resist slandering or demeaning the elected president. If you find it hard to respect him, respect the office. Respect God by respecting him.
“Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone” (Titus 3:1-2).
* Be Prepared. Obey God by obeying your leader and elected officials. However, be prepared to disobey your leader if it disobeys God. Civil disobedience is tricky ground. We need discernment. It should be a last resort. Still, stay prepared and alert. At the least, be prepared to voice dissent, but do so without attacking the leader.
“Then Peter and the apostles answered [the religious authorities] and said, ‘We ought to obey God rather than men’” (Acts 5:29).
* Trust God. God is sovereign. In the end, after all the recounts are done, it is God who has determined the next president of the United States. Only God holds the [cosmic] reasons why. God’s purposes are sure and cannot be thwarted. To Him be all glory. Trust Him.
Our God is in heaven and does whatever He pleases (Psalm 115:3).
The secret things belong to the Lord… (Deuterononmy 29:29).
* Worship God. Attend Church (online or otherwise). Lift your hands. Sing loud. Serve a ministry. Tithe. Read your Bible. Pray. Journal. Go to a Bible study. Join a prayer group. Prayer-walk in nature or through your neighborhood. Live a life of worship.
“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'” (Matthew 22:37).
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God–this is your true and proper worship” (Romans 12:1).
* Pray hard. Pray for the president, the vice-president, and all those in power over our country. Pray, and fast, fervently that God channel the president’s heart for justice, righteousness, freedom, and life.
“The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes” (Proverbs 21:1).
* Live your life. Love your spouse. Raise your kids. Do your job. Walk your dog. Mow your lawn. Shovel your driveway. Sweep the garage. Replace the lightbulbs. Empty the dishwasher. You get it….
“Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before” (1 Thessalonians 4:11).
* Enjoy your life. Put your phone away. Avoid social media. Cook with friends. Play board games with family. Start a hobby. Take a nap. Watch a movie. Read a good book. Savor a good drink. Take two helpings of pie. Go to the coffeeshop with a bestie. Take Sabbath.
“So I commended enjoyment because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat, drink, and enjoy himself, for this will accompany him in his labor during the days of his life that God gives him under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 8:15).
I hope this was helpful!
Which of these was most helpful? What else would you include in the list? Share in the comments section.
* Post updated on 11/7/2020
First I would have to read this list often because I’m having a hard time wrapping my mind around some of these responses. Besides biting my tongue, reaching out to a solid fellow Christian to remind me where my mind should be would also be another response. I also left Facebook and Instagram about 2 months ago, and that has helped a lot.
Good word. Thanks for sharing.
You are welcome Pastor….Following up on my first comments: I appreciate your suggestions, and I thank you for them. The one that intrigues me is about how far to obey a leader. I’m wondering under what circumstances will that be knowing some of the plans already presented which may be harmful. This then leads me to the suggestions about just living my life knowing God has the final say, and to stay in prayer every day as I struggle with this. The suggestions about just continuing living life are great and relating them to the Bible verse is especially helpful.
That is THE question, isn’t it? When does the point come that we as Christians practice civil disobedience? Whew. A tough one. It can be confusing. But I believe it will be crystal clear when we must, and not something we have to try and figure out. I wish I had better guidance than that. As a pastor, I know that anything that will try and silence my voice as a preacher of all the Truth of God’s Word will be met with “disobedience.” And I’m sure it’s those threats that will apply to God’s people too. Thanks again for sharing brother.
So well said! Thank you Pastor Jarrod!
I believe (as others have said) we need to be seeking the “kingdom over culture” I agree. Our skin is “just an organ”. Let’s be United, tolerant and loving to each-other. It’s amazing to be alive during this time. History is being made right in front of our eyes. Nothing happens that “doesn’t pass through Gods desk”
Thank you pastor Jarrod.
I especially needed the reminders: Trust God. and…
Live your Life.
If we remember that God is Sovreign and is in control, then we can rest in His care and (hopefully) go on to do other important things like Life our life, Pray, Be a worker and a blessing to others and Enjoy life. Thank you to Susan and Anthony Q for sharing this with me as I truly needed these important coping strategies.
God bless you, Pastor Jarrod
~Rhonda P, NJ
Amen! Thank you! And so grateful that Susan and Anthony sent you my way. Thanks again for sharing.
This is perfect!
Hey pastor Jarod, God bless you and your family. Wow amen great stuff bro! Needed to hear this big time! Will be continuing to praying for the future of our country also still have jubilee in my prayers and for your family too. Be safe, stay strong, take care and God bless pastor Jarod!
He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!” ). Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished.
Mark 5:41-42 – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Mark%205:41-42&version=NIV
Thank you! And amen!
Thank you for obeying God’s word….no matter what the outcome! I copied your first prayer into my journal and continue to read it 2 to 3 time’s daily. Tonight I will add this one along side. I am trying to memorize some of the key verses to get me through these dark times. Thank you and Gods blessings to you and your sweet family.
You’re too sweet! I’m humbled. Thank you so much!
Thank you for these valuable reminders. However, it is unbundantly difficult to honor, submit to and respect an individual who is disrespectful. Isn’t rudeness, minimalization, dismissiveness and divisiveness less than what the Lord desires for us?
I find Greer Cooper’s comment compelling, along with Jarrod’s comments about watching what we say in front of our children. Under normal circumstances I would agree with Jarrod’s sentiment; however, these last four years have not been normal circumstances. I have spent four years talking directly to my children (teenagers) as clearly and candidly as I can about the terrible things we have as a family and as a nation heard come from the lips and fingertips of the current president. It was important (I believe, my God-given job) to be candid with my children since as a Christian, I want them to follow Christ’s example of how to treat one another. I have the task of teaching an intelligent and extremely capable young woman how to navigate a world that doesn’t always recognize these things in women, in the face of a president who openly denigrated and horribly used women. I am teaching a young man how to be a man of integrity both in how he approaches an honest day’s work and how he treats others, especially women. I have struggled and grieved for four years as I had to daily (yes, daily) deconstruct the vitriol and lies from the president’s mouth. I am not sorry for taking the time to have those conversations with my children, and I hope that in doing so, our family can move beyond these dark moments with a greater understanding of why truth, kindness and compassion are so important for those who follow Christ.
Rebecca, thank you so much for sharing this. My post on honoring and respecting the president in no way meant we are to turn a blind eye or keep a quiet voice when the president (whoever he/she may be) misleads or demeans other human beings. Our leaders all are to be held accountable. We are in fact to do just what you shared. We are to voice dissent toward rhetoric and call it out for what it is. I don’t feel this is being disrespectful or dishonoring to the leader. We can honor the office, seek to respect the leader, but at the same time not ignore demeaning or harmful language and behaviors, and condemn it.
Please do not feel from my post that you must feel sorry for how you have guided and invested in your children. We as parents are called and mandated to guide, teach, and lead our kids in all truth, dignity, compassion, and love. Thank you for your example!
Thanks for sharing, Greer! I agree that rudeness, minimalization, dismissiveness, and divisiveness is not what God desires for us—from presidents to citizens, it’s not of God. Agreed it is indeed difficult to honor, submit, and respect anyone (whether neighbor, co-worker, even a family member, all the way up to a president—whomever he or she may be) someone who is disrespectful.
As I shared in a response to Mrs. Barth’s comment, I’ll repost here: What I shared with her was that my blog post on honoring and respecting the president in no way meant we are to turn a blind eye or keep a quiet voice when a president, or any leader, misleads or demeans other human beings. Our leaders all are to be held accountable. We are in fact to do just what you shared. We are to voice dissent toward rhetoric and call it out for what it is. I don’t feel this is being disrespectful or dishonoring to the leader. We can honor the office, seek to respect the leader, but at the same time not ignore demeaning or harmful language and behaviors. In fact, we are to condemn it. So we seek to honor and respect the leader according to God’s word best we can, but not blindingly. Appreciate your comments!
Thank you for this Pastor. We’re trying out best.
I’m in total agreement with you pastor and I’m very grateful that you put this out there for all to read but mainly to ponder. Elections for high office in America is so very important to us and to the whole world. The problem we humans have is that our sinful nature gets in the way of seeing clearly what is truly expected of us. When things don’t go our way , anger takes over to the point of blindness. Not everyone can handle these strong emotions on a snap of a finger, but in time we can and we will. This has been terribly difficult not because my candidate is losing but because of the way he is losing and accepting it has overcome my sense of reasoning. I know that I will be able to overcome this in time and to get stronger in my faith. God is in control and I must lean on that for my sake and my family sake . I pray that all believers will see what you have said and that what ever negative thoughts and emotions they have in them will go away, so that they can now have room for the spirit to do it’s wonderful work in all of us. Thank you pastor and God bless you and your family and all of God’s children.
Amen, brother Luis, I could feel your response and right there with you. The Lord is in this place, just like in Jeremiah, He is up to something. God’s love, rest and peace be yours as you lead your family. Thank you for your share.
Amen. May God’s Spirit do His Work. AMEN! Thank you for sharing!
God’s blessings to you and over you and your family, your pastoral team and the body of Christ. I’m so thankful to be a member of someone under God’s leadership through you. You teach us daily, the way of The Cross, the capital “T” truth of being a Christ follower. I was literally thinking in my heart, that’s where actions are born, that I would “go black” if the results I wanted to hear were not spoken. Your sharing here confirms what the Holy Spirit was already speaking. Evil begets evil…bottom line. ANY response in fleshly hate, makes me no different than the very things I detest and DO NOT bring my savior, Jesus, glory. Hebrews 12:1-2 how!? LOVE, because He first loved us. In all my wickedness. That right there cuts deep and puts my heart back in check. Oh God how I never want to give darkness, AKA, Satan, even a crack. Lord of mercy help me, help us all, we know you are. I Am, you are enough. Lead me, lead us in your love. God bless you over and over Pastor Jarrod, and may He keep His face shining upon you always, like the noonday sun. So grateful for you and God’s immense grace. In Jesus holy name, Amen
My best friend of many years almost came through the phone at me, totally un-provoked, because of his hatred for Trump who I support, but assiduously avoid even mentioning in his presence. This is a microcosm of the state of our country. Very sad. Your words are wise and soothing to my soul. I love my God. I will do as you say, as best I can, for my own health, but above all, to honor the Lord my God. Thank you, Pastor Jarrod. I love you Brother, in Christ.
Thanks for sharing, Bob. Difficult times. But a good God. Amen.
Man, this was gold. My favorite point was “live your life.” Politics and policies are important, but must always be secondary to the calling that God has for us to love our neighbors, love/lead our families, and make disciples. If our passion for political engagement turns us into poor neighbors and ineffective disciple makers, then we’ve missed the mark by a country mile. Lord, turn our eyes and hearts back to you.
Thank you, brother. And amen.
Jarrod, I am friends with your Dad. I live in Clanton. Thank you for sharing God’s wisdom. This is the best advice/guidance that I have read probably in my whole life.
Oh wow, Danny. Thank you so much. Truly.
Thank you Pastor Jarrod for your words of guidance in a difficult time in our country. Your words of God’s wisdom are so powerful, welcome and calming to me always, and especially now. May you and your beautiful family be blessed through all eternity.
Thank you! Much love to you and your family.
Have I liked all the President’s rhetoric and tweets? No, I have not. Surely, I can’t be the only one who has heard the name-calling and childish behavior from the other candidate also. Do I think President Trump’s rhetoric is any worse than the extreme hatred and dirty tricks I have seen over the last five years coming from the other side? Definitely not. Do I believe President Trump is the same man he was before the day he walked into the Oval Office as President? No, I do not. Do I believe he is God’s work in progress as we all are? Yes, I do. Do I believe he deserves a shot at true repentance and redemption just like the rest of us? Absolutely. Do I think both candidates need a tremendous amount of prayer? Certainly.
Following is the content of an anonymous letter Dr. James Dobson’s wife handed to him. I pray everyone will take a breath and set aside all emotions and pride as this is read. I then hope that each reader will hold each and every one of the following statements up against the platform of each party. Then more importantly, that each person will hold each and every statement up against the Word of God. The statement reads:
“This is not a junior high or high school popularity/personality contest. I’m not voting for the person – I’m voting for the platform.
I’m voting for the Second Amendment. I’m voting for the next Supreme Court justice. I’m voting for the electoral college. I’m voting for the Republic in which we live. I’m voting for the police and law and order. I’m voting for the military and the veterans who fought and died for this country. I’m voting for the flag that is often missing from public events. I’m voting for the right to speak my opinion and not be censored for it. I’m voting for secure borders. I’m voting for the right to praise God without fear. I’m voting for every unborn soul that is at risk of being aborted. I’m voting for freedom and the American dream. I’m voting for good and against evil. I’m not just voting for one person.
I’m voting for the future of my country!”
To this, Dr. Dobson added a few comments of his own. “I’m also voting for candidates who will exercise sound leadership internationally. I’m voting for those who will support Israel. i’m voting for those who will protect children from leftist curricula. i’m voting for the nation’s fiscal integrity. i’m voting for parental rights. i’m voting for school choice and home education. i’m voting for freedom in the suburbs. i’m voting for Little Sisters of the Poor and other Christian organizations. i’m voting for racial unity. i am voting to support “In God We Trust” and school prayer. I’m voting for freedom of conscience for physicians and other professionals. i am voting for marriage. i am voting for life in all its dimensions. i am voting against euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide. i’m voting for wisdom in handling the pandemic. i am voting for protection for the Church from oppressive politicians.”
“When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3). The courts are receiving information concerning potential election fraud. They are allowed several weeks to review and reach a decision and only THEN should we proclaim the name of our president-elect. If we are going to continue to enjoy the freedom of living in our very blessed republic, the electorate MUST have confident assurance of fair and accurate elections. We would do well to pray for the fear of God to fall upon these judges that they will not be partisan but that they will judge in righteousness and that everything hidden in darkness will be brought into the light. (Luke 12:2-3)
Thank you for sharing, Joan!
You’re very welcome, Pastor. Blessings to you and your family and to the Church today and every day.