This political season is filled with embarrassing leaks and secret revelations from candidate’s private conversations and e-mails. Most of it is disappointing and disgusting. As I start to condemn them I think about what comes out of my mouth. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21). Nothing is private; I will be responsible for my words. God’s Word gives instruction about my conversations—“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29). In a world where most things are beyond my control, I am in total control of what comes out of my mouth. When they play back my tapes, I want those words to be godly, clean, humble, uplifting and peaceful. How about you? Review your words this week.
My spirit has grown restless with the toxic air surrounding our current political dilemma. Presidential candidates’ opinions have literally overridden the importance of presidential character. In response, the political machine we have inherited just drives on - like there’s nothing we can do. And maybe we can’t, but this disturbs me more each day. I have almost entirely avoided this conversation, because I (often at great cost) am a peacemaker! I have always been one to prefer a middle ground over conflict. This may sound noble for a moment – but I’ve even struggled to be very public about my love for Jesus in arenas where it simply might be ‘misunderstood’. There are times when this might seem appropriate, but more often I’m aware that I’m not protecting anything or anyone but myself. May God grant us strength of character and enough self-LESS-ness to do what Micah 6:8 says God requires of us: “To do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly before our God” (Micah 6:8). This is my prayer: “God of peace, keep us from confusing peace with submission in the face of injustice. Keep us from confusing patience with tolerance in the face of oppression. Grant us true discernment for the sake of your kingdom. Amen.” (From: Common Prayer, A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals)