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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

I hate election time. I don't think I'm the only one based on conversations I have with other people. It's not the whole democratic process or the responsibility of voting. I love those privilegs and do my part to take advantage of the liberties we enjoy. It's more about the "ugly" side of human nature. Even the most wonderful people turn into political pundits or biting critics of their opponents. And the truth is, it's not about voting for the right people anymore. It's more about voting for the lesser of the evils. Every candidate has a nasty trail leading to their past. Every candidate (it would seem) has been a liar, a cheater, a thief or an adulterer (this one doesn't seem to bother people as much anymore). What usually happens is that some of the best candidates for office choose not to run or run again because they don't want the shame or the embarassment that it would cause their families, their supporters and themselves. Who can blame them? Our political races are a reflection of our culture. The one with the quickest cut down is the funniest. The smartest comeback or the best retaliation wins more votes and respect than the actual qualities of the candidate. How can the good guys win (just an expression, ladies, I know there are good women candidates as well) when no one can really tell who the good guys are any more?
Which brings me back to thoughts of faith. Is the church any different? Is it any wonder that some of the best leaders have cowered from using their gifts because they are afraid that some self-appointed critic will tear apart their character? Worse yet, how about those who want to follow after Christ but are afraid that submission to Him would cause others to question their intentions or to bring up their past? The Bible says that Satan is the "accuser of the brothers" (Revelation 12:10). It is his nature that causes us to want to hurt, to condemn, to convict and to judge each other. Isn't it refreshing when we find a church where people are free to admit their failures and to find strength to follow Christ? That's what doing life together is all about. It's not our place to condemn or judge the eternal destiny of others. Our job is to surround each other with the encouragement it takes to run the race in spite of the failures that plague all of us. Let us commit to follow after Christ, together, enabling each other to untangle from sin and run more freely. "How can I help you" should be a mantra for every believer? Funny thought. What do you think it would do for our political races if every candidate humbled himself and asked that very question? After all, they are "public servants?"

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