The Election and Loving your Enemies

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
-Matthew 5:43-45.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
-John 13:34-35

As a nation, we’re deeply divided. We’re deeply hurt. We’re scared. We’re upset. Whether Hillary or Donald won, this was going to be the result. The wounds were gaping before election day. We’ve been polemical. We’ve picked sides. We’ve demonized each other. We’ve slandered each other. We’ve lost our decency. Where do we go from here?

We are offered a major moral test. How we control our reaction, whether upset, angry, scared, excited, thankful, or triumphant shows a lot about our character. Individually we have the choice to work towards reconciliation or not.

Experiencing these emotions is good. It’s human. Electing a president has serious consequences for our society.  I am deeply nervous about some of the things Donald has campaigned for. I was also deeply nervous about some of the things Hillary campaigned for. Major disappointment was to come with either result. Now though, how do we react in a way that brings healing? Or do we dig in and twist the knife more?

This does not mean that we compromise our values and beliefs. If a true injustice arises during this presidency, we must conscientiously object. We must protest appropriately. Convictions are necessary. In doing this our task is to learn how to respectfully but firmly disagree. This is possible.

Christ is our brightest light. Christ Jesus invites us to love our enemies. He invites us to pray for those we disagree with- to pray for those we hate. I invite Democrats to pray for Donald Trump. I invite Republicans to pray for Hillary Clinton. Lord, we’ve been plagued with ugliness and animosity this election season. Bring healing. Bring unity. Lord Jesus, I pray that Donald Trump will be a good public servant. He has a major task ahead of him. I pray that he will be a president for all Americans. I pray that he surrounds himself with virtuous men and women and that they truly will work for the common good. I pray for Democrats, Republicans, Blacks, Whites, Hispanics, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Immigrants, the LGBTQ community, and the Unborn. I pray that all people in America can feel safe and welcomed. I pray that we recognize and treat all people with their God-given dignity.

Put on then as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility gentleness and patience.
-Col 3:12

Jesus Christ has given us the lasting example. Let us pray for each other, especially the ones we don’t want to pray for.

In Christ,
Joseph Sevcik

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