What If You Lose In November?

  • Jeff Crotts
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Last evening I watched a few segments of the Democratic National Convention. Ideological symbols were flamboyant to say the least. Scenes of multi-culturalism, protests, and mask wearing flashed across my screen. My point here is not to open up my political position or what party I am in favor of. What I am driving at is actually entirely different.

I want to ask you the question, “What if you lose in November?” You say, “I’m not running for anything.” Still, if you are honest with yourself, beneath the surface, you feel a pull of winning or losing with this presidential race. Something is probably churning inside of you whether you freely admit it or not. Ideologies are convictions and convictions steer how we feel about the big things in life.

That said, your politics are still not my question. My question has little to do with your politics and a lot to do with your biblical convictions. If your party loses, will this change you? How you feel about your life and your future? In light of how serious this election truly is, as a believer, your readiness to lose should be thought through now in case it happens.

Your party may not lose but it may. So, what will your spiritual condition look like if it does? I suspect it is better to ask now. So take a good look in the mirror now, so that you will not lose but instead gain if this happens.

What could you stand to personally lose, if you lose? For starters, you might lose confidence in your government. You say, “Too late!” Perhaps, but I suspect your internal trust needle will take a dramatic slide.

You could lose a whole host of day-to-day life preferences. Your place of business will likely be affected. Your insurance costs could go up, your pay or benefits reduced, or taxes increased. Changes like these affect someone’s motivation to work hard on the job not to mention maintaining a positive outlook. Wherever you land in terms of masking and social distancing, no one is arguing that things are less stressful in the marketplace. Conflicts quickly spark to defcon 5 unless they are immediately staved off or circumvented from the start. All these likely changes would only turn the heat up hotter.

So, on a personal level, polarizing issues like race, protesting, and someone’s position on what to do with the pandemic make for fighting words. To put it frankly, debating these issues with superficial logic easily puts relationships at risk with anyone. These issues will divide longtime friendships and family members.

Believing you have lost in November could risk your health. The saying goes, “If you do not have your health, you have nothing.” There is some conventional wisdom here. When your health drops down, your quality of life goes with it. When you do not feel like getting up out of bed, something has gone really wrong. Health has taken center stage with the pandemic. We appear very concerned with our health and the health of others when we follow the safety measures in place and perhaps we are. Even still, responding to this coming election in terms of fear, worry, or depression will mean that your health will take a real hit. Worrying leads people into all sorts of physical maladies. Headaches, muscle tension, insomnia, pounding heart, poor breathing, upset stomach, and high blood pressure make up a few categories.

Psalm 32 is David’s testimony of when he repented of his sin. His anxiety over his unconfessed sin affected his physical state on a horrible scale. It is unwise to isolate David’s account as only particular to him.

“For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up1 as by the heat of summer.” (Psalm 32:3-4)

Responding poorly in November could jeopardize you employment. This may seem pretty doomsday to suggest that a person’s fear or anxiety over an election could cause this result. But bear in mind that one thing easily leads to another. If your health begins to spiral down and you become lethargic, your lethargy will undermine your drive to be productive and do well. This often leads to being dismissed from your position. People who find themselves unemployed may not even recognize or take responsibility for succumbing to a spirit of demotivation on the job. The steps toward disengagement are subtle. Being out of a job hits someone’s sense of security like nothing else.

When someone is out of work, they easily lose their hope and joy even though Christians are called to a life of joy.

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.” (Philippians 4:4)

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that a the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4)

Your Christian testimony has the potential and necessary power toward being unflappable. At first, being unflapped in a turbulent society. Unreasonable? Riots are still brewing and cities are still burning, right? Legal mandates are fueling tensions in our neighborhoods. These threats are no different from what the book of Acts describes of the early church. In fact, our circumstances promise to get much worse. Back to being unflappable when it does, I want to flip the question from what you can lose to what you can gain by losing the election.

You can gain an incredible witness as someone who acts like Jesus did when life got extreme. Do you remember how Jesus responded when the crowds pressed? He was in a word, imperturbable. By what he said and by what he did not say, Jesus was unflapped. Jesus not only ignored hostile threats, he cared for others in their distress without succumbing to fear. Jesus appears to be an anomaly as he calmly rebuked anti-Christ leaders who conspired to take him out.

How will you respond if you lose the election? I understand this year’s theme for Grace Christians School is “Press on.” Though I am sure many chapel devotions will key off Philippians 3:12-14, I want to go there as well. Here, Paul pours out his testimony with full transparency. He has been honest over how disgusted he was for trusting in personal accomplishments (cf. Phil. 2:8). In chapter 3, verse 12, Paul speaks in paradoxes – what God has done for him in view of what he could never do for himself. He answers why this drives him to do what he would not otherwise do (cf. Phil. 3:12-14). Paul says, “I press on!” (v. 12).

How does this tie in with responding well in view November’s election? Zero in on verse 15:

“Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.” (Philippians 3:15)

Responding well always begs paying attention to your mindset – “…those…who are mature think this way” (v. 15). What you think will always determine what you gain or lose when life takes a hard turn. With this in view, meditate on how Paul finishes chapter 3 in verses 17-21:

“Brothers, a join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.” (Philippians 3:17-21)