Last week I received my first campaign call.
Initially, it seemed as though it might be non-partisan. The questions were general enough that I was fine with taking a few moments away from my family before dinner to share my thoughts.
However, following the general questions regarding my ability and intent to vote, it became very clear that the caller was attempting to get me to vote for a particular candidate, and was willing to employ some very loose “facts” in order to demonstrate the failings of the opposition.
I listened for a bit before politely ending the call, citing my need to return to the role of human jungle gym for my toddlers.
But hours later, I couldn't seem to let the tone of the call go.
(As a point of full disclosure, I like political discussion. I even kind of like political arguments. But I can’t stand either when they refuse to deal with facts and reality.)
And as my frustration grows with the increasingly common tactic of painting a false reality with partial facts and out-of-context quotes, I started thinking about how, instead of living out my faith and taking an opportunity to talk about Jesus, there are times when I’m more interested in campaigning for Christ.
The problem is, there’s nowhere in scripture where Jesus asks us to campaign for Him. He doesn't ask us to do Him any favors and He certainly never asks us to defend Him or His honor (Matthew 26:52). He just asks us to put God first, and to demonstrate our willingness to do so by putting others before ourselves.
When I campaign for Christ, I’m not actually putting others before myself. Quite the opposite, actually—I’m demonstrating to them that I think they’re probably wrong and I’m right. But Jesus doesn't want me to simply tell people why He’s better. He wants me to show them.
And that’s what’s so uniquely wonderful, and at the same time difficult, about the command from Matthew 28:19, “Therefore, go and make disciples.”
It isn't a call to campaign for Christ. It’s much more than that. It’s about inviting others into our lives, which means they can see the good and the bad; but most importantly, it means they can see how our relationship with Christ impacts who we really are.
The truth of the matter is disciples aren't made in a day. Disciples are built over time.
So the next time I feel compelled to campaign for Christ, I've decided to take a moment and think about whether the Christ I want to tell someone about is the same Christ I've shown them through my actions. If not, maybe it’s better for both of us to try and learn something more about Him together.
Kevin doesn't always write about faith and politics, just most of the time. Outside of his role in goTandem, Kevin occupies a 97-year-old home with his wife and three young children. He enjoys listening to NPR, mowing the lawn, and providing musical accounts of his day.