Seeing the best in everyone, even a politician.

Posted: January 21, 2017 in Thoughts on God

On the day this e-letter is published, the United States will inaugurate a new president. At least this time around, the outgoing executive was not directly defeated by the incoming one. I’ve always felt bad when the loser has had to stand on the dais as the winner (the guy who defeated him) took the oath of office. Presidents (and Vice Presidents) who have had to do that in my lifetime were people like Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Al Gore.
It takes a certain amount of grace to do that. I suspect (deep down inside) you have to tell yourself there are some redeeming qualities residing in the oath taker. And though you were enemies on the campaign trail, you are now co-travelers on the road to the peaceful transition of power. Your worthy adversary is now your president to whom you will show at least a modicum of support.
When Jesus was asked by a Pharisee about the greatest commandment, he replied in part that we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. On another occasion, Jesus told a parable in which he said we are actually helping him when we help others. In other words, he was telling us we need to see Jesus in the people around us.
That might be the single, hardest thing a Christian is asked to do. When we see someone we might otherwise consider to be less than worthy, we are to see Jesus in them. That, of course, changes everything. How can I turn my back on the Savior of the World?
To even begin doing that we have to take the advice of the Apostle Paul when he told us to “offer” ourselves as living sacrifices and go through a process where our minds are made new (Romans 12:1-2). That’s quite an offering. We’d rather give some money and call it a day.
The next time you see a homeless person, a criminal, or even a politician that disgusts you, try to see Jesus in their stead. It’s not easy, but it will change everything.


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