Give to Caesar What is Caesar’s…

In light of the results of last night’s election, I was thinking about one story in the Bible where the Pharisees asked Jesus whether Jews should pay taxes to Rome (those knuckleheads were always trying to catch him in a gaffe, but it never happened).  Keep in mind, most people had heard of this Jesus guy by now, and some said he was a rebel freedom fighter out to get back Israel’s independence from Rome.  Instead, Jesus looked straight at them and said this:
“Whose face is on these coins?’

“Caesar’s,” they replied.

“Then render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and render unto God the things which are God’s.”  (Matthew Ch.22)

Some people love to say God is punishing our country any time there are problems, which is always.  They have trouble differentiating between politics, which is of the physical fleshy world, and God’s wisdom and purpose, which is of the spirit.  Mixing the two never goes well.  And yet why do so many of us panic and worry whenever an election rolls around?
It’s a circus out there right now, so many fingers pointing and friendships dissolving over something that nobody has any individual power over.

The first thing they told me in Al-Anon (AA’s family group), was that we are all powerless over alcohol and its effect on our lives.  You can imagine how big a pill that is to swallow!  But the same rule applies to other things we have no control over, like politics.  We might as well rant and rave when a storm takes out a power line, when the truth is it was nobody’s fault.  When Christ told them to render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, He wasn’t just talking about tax money.  He was giving us a gentle reminder not to invest our entire lives in the chasing-our-tails routine and in doing so miss out on this wonderful life He has given us.

Funny how we thank God for delivering us from Hurricane Sandy, then the very next week we’re all “OH CRAP!!! THE ELECTION IS OVER!!! WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!!”

It’s sad for me to see how quickly people, even Christians, forget this time of year that God is in control.  They may even say just that, but there is tension in their voices and actions.  God did not called us to be afraid or lie awake at night worrying over little things.  Isn’t worrying the worst way of doubting Him? He said Himself that He would never leave us or forsake us, even if the physical world is harsh at times.

As far as who sits in office now, I can honestly say I don’t know what comes next, and that’s okay because God knows.  Think about it- God loves to use screw-ups in all shapes and sizes!  Remember King Saul and King Nebuchadnezzar?  To say our nation is coming to an end and go on listing all the issues about to go down the toilet is just another way of saying, “I don’t believe God’s big enough to handle this one.” Well, guess what? The rise and fall of nations is nothing new to Him, and He’s led his people safely out of it before.  None of us know the ending of the story, except the Lord.  To say we know better is just plain ‘ole crazy.

It’s also rather sad that most Americans spend so much time “campaigning and complaining” without remembering what it cost us to get to those polls.  Millions of lives lost, bloodshed, pain, and other atrocities were endured and fought so that we could vote without fear.   I personally didn’t care for the candidates much, but in thankful memory of the sacrifices made, I was proud to go and vote.  I wish we could all focus on that hard-earned freedom more than bicker and fret over petty issues.
In closing, let me just say it was a memorable election, but now I for one am ready to continue on with life.  I’ve got a baby due in six weeks and have about zero time to bite my nails and wonder if this or that policy will rip away my daughter’s chance of a future.  Because I’ve already placed my future and her’s in the Lord’s hands, where I know it will be safe.  So if you find yourself getting nervous about politics and issues in the days to come, stop for a second.  Take a deep breath, and remember these words our Lord spoke:

“Be still, and know that I am God.”

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