Friday, November 4, 2016

Making America Good Again: Anger Management

Election Day is less than one week away.  I hope you have voted or are planning to vote by November 8th.

Polling suggests that Clinton and Trump are tied. One of them will be president.  Will they and their supporters be sore losers?  Or gracious winners?  Which will you be?

Americans started this campaign season angry.  Many feel our country is headed in the wrong direction, but beyond that our nation is divided. The platforms and policies of the two major candidates are almost polar opposites.  Which path will prevail?

Our anger has grown over the past year, and now we're tired too. The daily barrage of lies, accusations, scandals and the endless commercials have left us exhausted and anxious.

What should we do on November 9th - or whenever the results are recounted, court challenged, and eventually verified?

We need to take a deep breath and do the equivalent of counting to 10 before we respond.

Take some time before the results are announced to prepare yourself emotionally and spiritually for what lies ahead should your candidates win....or lose.


Pray for calm. Anger and exhaustion are a dangerous mix.  Don't react based on your emotions without thinking about the consequences.

The key to Making America Good Again is loving each other, especially those we disagree with. We often hear, "love your neighbor as yourself."  But the whole verse is:  “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against a fellow Israelite, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord." (Leviticus 19:18)

In this emotionally charged time in our nation's history, remember that loving means not seeking revenge nor bearing a grudge.  Don't try to get even.  Don't let political positions end friendships or break family ties.  Don't watch grudge matches on media outlets; turn them off.  Don't tolerate revenge-seeking politicians; hold them accountable to seek the truth and create a peaceful path forward.

One of the strengths of our constitutional republic is our history of peaceful transitions of power.  Losing an election does not mean that the fight for our beliefs ends.  It does mean that we will continue to bring forward issues important to us in statehouses and courthouses, but peacefully and without violence.  If we are poor losers or gloating winners we will only exacerbate the hatred and division that plagues our country.

In the days ahead, pray for our nation and all the candidates, the winners and the losers.

Pray that the new president will be a leader who will strive to unite America.  May he or she have the heart of President Abraham Lincoln who on the battlefield of Gettysburg spoke about healing a nation divided by Civil War. He hoped then, as I do today:
that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Don't let events overwhelm you.  We are a nation under God, and it is in God we trust and put our hope.  Seek His guidance and wisdom.  Pray for yourself, the American people and our leaders.

Pray for God to reveal to you what you can do to help heal your family, your community and our country in the days ahead.

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