February 14, 2012

Consider the words from Paul in Ephesians 4:29.

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (NIV)

This passage goes on to state “all bitterness, anger and wrath, shouting and slander must be removed from you, along with all malice. And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ. Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children…”

Now compare what Scripture teaches with how most politicians live and act, regardless of religious background, especially when seeking election as described by news write-ups.

  • “Gingrich got so far under Romney’s skin in South Carolina that Team Romney was forced to learn how to conduct an effective negative campaign that delivered significant results (see, Florida 2012 GOP primary). While going negative a majority of the time is not a winning long-term strategy, it certainly toughened up Mitt Romney as a candidate. And Team Romney will certainly need to draw on this skill again in the general election, should he win the nomination.” ~ Ford O’Connell, Political Analyst
  • “If liberals persist in their faith in government and antipathy to religion,” Brooks writes, “Democrats will become not only the party of secularism, but also the party of un-charity.” As the fall campaign unfolds, expect more attacks from the left on religious institutions and more talk of “shared responsibility” and wealth redistribution at the expense of individual freedom and opportunity. This week was only a preview.” ~ Mary Kate Cary, Political Speech Writer
  • “Newt said that he was off his game in the last debate last Thursday ’cause Romney was telling such outrageous lies about him that he was shell-shocked,” Limbaugh continued. “Now, I don’t know if that is a ploy for sympathy or what, but what in the world do either of these two guys think is going to happen when either one of them ends up facing Obama? I don’t care who’s telling lies in the Republican campaign, they are nothing compared to what’s going to happen when the Democrat campaign begins.” ~ James Crugnale, Mediaite

Now read these words from the first paragraph in an article published October 11, 1983 in the Eugene Register from Haynes Johnson of the Washington Post. “Whether cynicism about public officials and politics has become worse than ever, or only seems that way, depends on one’s interpretation of how bad is bad. Negativism certainly reigns.”

Negativism certainly reigns, was true almost 30 years ago and it’s certainly true today. As a matter of fact, it’s so much the norm in politics (and by many in society) today that for someone to suggest that our country would be served much better by a leader who lives out Ephesians 4:29-32 in their leadership, would probably be met with comments such as naïve and inexperienced. But wouldn’t be a breath of fresh air? Wouldn’t be the right way to lead? Wouldn’t our country and those of us who are privileged to live here benefit?

What about you? Are you cynical and negative around others? Do you spend more time cutting down others or building them up?

Would those who know you best state that for the most part you live as ”imitators of God …walking in love …not taking part in foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.” (Ephesians 5:1-4)

Would those who know you best state that you “Pay careful attention …to how you walk, not as unwise people, but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are evil. Don’t be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” (Ephesians 5:15-17)


– Article is contributed by Tim Chastain, Director of Men’s Teams for the Master’s Men ministry.