Welcome to the minefield…the political minefield, that is. If you’ve spent any time watching the primetime news or sitting across from a family member who opposes your political views, you know how quickly the conversation can turn contentious. Tempers can flare, voices can raise, and love—along with your Christian witness—can evaporate like mist in a desert. Instead of following the leading of the Holy Spirit, it’s easy to let your flesh have its way, leading you into a battle that no one can win.
Now is the time to turn to the Word of God in preparation for those strained moments. As believers, we must measure our attitudes, actions and speech against the Word. No matter how “right” we may believe we are, we are called to a higher standard. We’re to reflect the love of Jesus—always.
If you often find yourself yelling at news reports, wishing destruction on those who oppose your political views, or stewing over the current political landscape, it’s time to adjust.
Watch this video, as Kenneth Copeland explains why you should pray for politicians you disagree with.
Now that you’ve heard from Kenneth Copeland about why you should pray for politicians you disagree with, here are four principles from God’s Word that will help you respond to those who have opposing political views in a way that allows God to work in our nation through your response.
#1 Examine Yourself
Before you’re quick to judge others for their ungodliness, make sure you haven’t wandered into ungodly territory yourself by inviting hate into your heart.
Jesus said, “First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye” (Matthew 7:5, New Living Translation).
You have every right to disagree with another’s politics, and you have a responsibility to stand up for godliness. However, when that drive overwhelms your witness, you’ve stepped out of God’s will.
#2 Walk in Love
How, then, should you react when faced with ungodliness or an opposing political agenda? The same way you respond to anything else—walk in love.
And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you (Ephesians 4:30-32, NLT).
When you “get rid of all bitterness” and instead forgive one another, you reflect the love of God. That doesn’t mean you’re agreeing with the opposing stance. You can still (and should) hold fast to your biblical beliefs, and measure issues against God’s Word. But instead of letting anger and hate set up residence in your heart, let love guide you.
#3 Pray for Those You Disagree With
Jesus told you to, “Love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you” (Luke 6:27, NLT). Those might be easy words to read, but they are much, much harder to live, especially when politics are involved. But Jesus didn’t tell you to love your enemies only when it was easy. He simply commanded you to love. How? One way is to pray earnestly and in faith for those who stand for the things you know are wrong.
As Brother Copeland encouraged in a recent message, pray, “Lord, bless that man (or woman). Bless him, O God. Bless him today. Open the eyes of his understanding. If he has things in his life that are hurting him, if he’s got things in his family that are hurting him, help him, Jesus.”
Furthermore, God promises, “if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14, NLT). Power exists in the prayers of the righteous. Never underestimate what the Lord will do on behalf of this nation if all of us will come together and pray for healing, restoration and salvation. Praise God!
#4 Respond in Kindness
When face to face with those who oppose your political positions, you should also turn to the Word. “A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare” (Proverbs 15:1, NLT). Responding in kindness, grace and mercy reflects Jesus’ example. Christ died for us while we were still sinners. He exhibited the love of God for those who opposed Him—and so should we.
Make the determination today that you will follow God’s Word when dealing with politicians and people you disagree with: Examine yourself, walk in love, pray for them and respond in kindness. Choose today—and every day—that you will stand for the Lord. You will not only stand for His values, but you will also stand for His mission—to draw people into relationship with Him through His Son. That’s a tall order, but it’s one God’s people are prepared for. Because just as we have received His goodness, we are empowered to reflect that goodness to others—even those who oppose our political views.