I used to be obsessed in a very unhealthy way with politics. It consumed my thoughts, my actions, my social media, my discussions, my arguments…it very literally consumed everything. I watched every debate. I critiqued every political figure. I listened nonstop to talk radio figureheads like Rush, Hannity, Savage, and more. I urged people to do their civic and biblical duty to get out and vote. I even assisted on a local individuals campaign in hopes to see them win and take over a seat in congress all the way up in Washington DC.
I was obnoxious about it too.
I served in a Church at the time as the worship and youth pastor, and on many occasions I was asked to preach from the pulpit as well. And when I did, you better believe that I wasn’t making it out of that sermon without having addressed at least one political issue, if not several.
Did I mention I was obnoxious about it?
It got to the place where I was making far more enemies than friends, and that I was enjoying, perhaps a little too much, the opportunities to slap down everyone I disagreed with politically. I actually looked forward to it. I hunted down opportunities to publicly dismantle political arguments and demonstrate for others just how silly and ignorant they were in their own political views.
Oh…I don’t remember…did I say I was obnoxious about it? Because I totally was.
Those who held to my particular brand of political views were some of my biggest cheerleaders…that is until I started evolving a bit in my views and stopped speaking so loudly about them.
Truth be told, it wasn’t even so much that my political views were evolving, but rather my views on how and when to express them were changing.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that while politics may be unfortunate and perhaps even a necessary evil, it doesn’t mean that I need to intentionally go out of my way to ensure that everyone in the world knows exactly where I stand on every single political issue to date.
I spent many years expressing my views about all things political, and it was exhausting.
Do I think people need to be engaged politically? Sure! After all, it is within this arena that laws are being made that govern our lives. If we are disconnected from this process, we miss out on an important opportunity to invest in and impact what laws will govern us.
But, simultaneously, I think politics can be one of the ugliest and most divisive subjects to ever grace the Thanksgiving Table.
And now, it’s election day, and I have a simple message for us all to remember…
No matter what political party you may find yourself in, and no matter how you may cast your ballot today, at the end of the day we are all American’s and we all still have to learn to live together. Don’t let our political leanings become the wedge that not only divides, but breaks us. We are going to disagree. It’s inevitable. But let us learn to grace one another with kindness, and embark into political discussions with respect for one another. We don’t have to agree. And we can hold passionate political views. But we must be able to look one another in the eye as fellow humans, joined together on the same journey to try and make our nation, state, and city a place worth living in.
And hey…don’t be angry!