God does not want us to be judgmental; He wants us prayer-mental. As instinctively as we might have judged people, we should pray for them instead. Today, countless Christians are angry with their elected officials. We say our anger is "righteous indignation." Yet, if our goal is to truly obtain the heart of Christ, we must remember: Jesus forgave those who crucified Him. Consider Peter's personal experience. Remember, Peter actually lived with Jesus. He walked and talked with Christ, he had his meals with Jesus. He watched how Jesus never reacted. He described the Lord as a man who, "while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats." How did Jesus keep Himself from anger, carnal reactions and bitterness? Peter says that Jesus "kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously." (1 Peter 2:23). I love that description: Jesus entrusted Himself to God the Judge of all. He will Judge.
Mercy Triumphs Over Judgment
"Well," some argue, "our government officials have sinned." When Paul called for prayer for kings in 1 Timothy 2:1-2, Nero was emperor of Rome. Nero was one of the most corrupt men who ever lived. He did not just have an illicit relationship or two; he had public orgies. He skinned Christians alive. There were occasions when he illuminated his night banquets with living torches and Christians who were tarred and then set ablaze on poles. Nero and his guests dined surrounded by Christians dying for their faith. Yet Paul wrote that we should pray "for kings and all who are in authority" (v. 2). Nero was king when Paul wrote this command. Paul was directing the focus of the church toward redemption and mercy.
You see, when we fill our hearts with angry thoughts, we are actually abandoning our strongest weapon in our arsenal. Prayer.
Some may misread my words, assuming that I think there is nothing wrong in government or society. Yes, there are many things wrong in our world, and God will certainly call us, at various times, to confront the sins that plague our lands. However, my concern is not as much with the White House as it is with the Lord's house!
The Father's house is to be a house of prayer for kings and all in authority. We can adamantly disagree with the political views that a leader has, but we must also adamantly cry to God on their behalf and serve as intercessors, even for our cultural enemies.
I can understand the reason for anger toward elected officials, especially if we consider that they are not doing their jobs. But if all we do is judge them, then neither are we doing our jobs. (1 Pet. 4:17).
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