ELECTION DAY 2016

As one of your pastors, I've thought and prayed for half the day about how to shepherd you through Election Day 2016 without saying what everyone else is saying (expect for point #1). There's no order and this list is not comprehensive.

1. Start praying for Donald Trump (1 Tim 2:1-4), especially if you're worried about his character. God chose Him as our 45th President (God "removes kings and sets up kings" Daniel 2:21) even if you didn't.

2. Pray for Hillary Clinton, her team and all those who supported her. Loving my neighbors means putting myself in their shoes and trying to empathize with their shock and disappointment.

3. Don't be a Pharisee and attack anyone's commitment to Jesus, their intellectual ability or their blindness to what's so "obvious" to you about the world now. You'll see this everywhere. Be careful.

4. Expect people to be misinformed. In the internet age, shallow research, biased reporting, echo chambers, intellectual ghettos and our inability to expose ourselves to people who disagree with us abounds. Be different. Read things thoughtfully and prayerfully and with your Bible open.

5. Expect people to misunderstand you. Be gracious anyway and try hard to understand them. All of us will stand before God alone, remember that.

6. Avoid triumphalism and elitism. Don't gloat over those who lost if your candidate won. Those who disagree with you aren't evil or fools or unsaved. Don't look down on people who didn't vote like you. Love, unity, peace with all men. Be the opposite of how people expect you to be because of your party affiliation, whatever it is.

7. Remember, nothing ultimate actually changed. Jesus is still reigning at the Father's right hand. God's control of all things is perfect and moving toward an end He's already determined. Yesterday was one step closer to that, just as today is now. Rest in His sovereign goodness over all things and His sovereign love for you, and keep working to help people know, love and serve Jesus while loving people and advancing His fame, His kingdom and His truth where you live, work, study, play and worship.

That's all I've got. I hope it's helpful.

CultureDale Thackrah