I don’t know what to make of Donald Trump and the election. I’ve never known how I really feel about it. Maybe it’s because I’m so shocked that my feelings are numb. Or maybe it’s because I’m actually so angry that I can’t even think straight. I don’t know. But I think a bulk of the reason I don’t know how to feel about Trump is because it’s blindingly clear how I feel about people’s reactions to him–especially Christians.
Regardless of how idiotic, misogynistic, racist, and downright stupid the things he’s said and done are, the fact of the matter is, he’s never done anything directly to me or to anyone I know. That’s not to say that it doesn’t matter to me. It’s just that I can’t help thinking that if we can’t love Donald Trump, how do we expect to love our enemies who actually do hurt us directly?
If we can’t love a man in the White House, how are we going to love a racist man sitting in the pew next to us? If we can’t love a rich man in D.C., how are we going to love a homeless man at Walgreens who cursed us out for not giving him change? Our reaction to Trump is symptomatic of a deeper issue. All of us—Trump included—don’t seem to know the first thing about actually loving each other. Your love for your friends is only as real as your love for your enemies–whether they’re rich white men in the White House or your classmates who voted differently than you did. So if we can’t love and respect Donald Trump in all of his unloveableness, it’s hard to imagine that we actually love each other in the first place—we just like people who make us feel good and do what we want. And because Trump makes us angry and does what we don’t like, we hate him.
As bad as Trump may be and despite what many liberals claim, he isn’t Hitler. He isn’t Caesar. He isn’t Nero. And even if he were, it’s hard to imagine the first century Christians saying the things about their political leaders back then that Christians are saying about Trump today.
So for anyone reading this who’s been quick to spew rhetoric about how Trump is driving America on an EZ Pass lane to Hell or how you hope he drowns in a sea of blood-sucking leeches in his sleep or whatever strange misfortune you can imagine, I leave you with a word of advice: pray before you speak. And instead of pointing the finger at everything he’s done wrong, let your reactions to him lead you to examine your own heart. I heard a pastor once remind us, “Forgiveness flows out of Jesus’ wounds. What flows out of yours?” Yes, Trump may not be what you had hoped for, but he is now our president and needs our prayers.
In other news, here’s a moving clip from the show Black-ish that may put some things in perspective…