Politics, just the mention of the word, sent many running to gather their arsenal of arguments. Some ran to the left, others ran to the right, but both sides may have unintentionally rushed past a critical truth. Politics are parabolic. They tell a story. The story they are telling right now isn’t a fairy tale; it’s a true-crime documentary. However, all the crime isn’t taking place behind locked doors in low-lit Washington conference rooms. Much of the crime is taking place in open, well-lit living rooms.
I don’t want to come across heavy-handed or accusatory, but current events have brought me to a clear realization. A realization that first applies to me and may secondarily apply to you. I’m afraid that we are often not as concerned with the truth as we are ensuring everyone knows the other side is lying. If we will open our eyes and listen, the current crisis has a secret to share. It’s not a secret about the corruption in politics; it’s a secret about corruption in people. It’s not a parable about them; It’s a parable about us.
In recent days God has graciously helped me to see something I would have otherwise been blind to. What goes on in Washington is not so different than what goes on in me. What can politics teach us about ourselves? The answer may be one we are not ready to hear. However, ready or not, here it comes. Hypocrisy is not a political problem. It is a human problem.
We say one thing but do another. We point out the inconsistencies of our opponents while acting as if ours are unimportant. We rant and rave about the singularity of truth while covering up multiple facts and dismissing mountains of data that don’t fit in the boundaries of our preselected narrative. The contradictions of our politicians should force us to ask a question. Am I as concerned about the integrity of my party as I am the integrity of the other?
According to scripture, the Church is both the pillar and foundation of the truth. As people of truth, we must be careful to hold the standard high, even if it means bringing our party low.
If you are thinking, I wish my liberal neighbor or conservative co-worker would read this; then, you’re probably missing the point. If your immediate reaction was to assume I’m talking to them, then I’m probably actually talking to you.
While we are saddling up the donkey and harnessing the elephant to pull the splinter out of our opponent’s eye, modern politics has a way of revealing the log in our eye. It may be true that sometimes, “they” are hypocrites. However, it is also true that sometimes, so are we. Truth matters even if it disproves the story, we are so desperate to share. Before we can ever tackle the corruption in government, we must first be willing to deal with the corruption in us.
No matter the outcome, I challenge you to use the same ruler on yourself, your party, and your ideals as you do on your opponents. You may be shocked to find that many of your own assumptions don’t measure up. God doesn’t have a double standard. Neither should we. Integrity matters to God; therefore, it should matter to us.
Pastor Benjamin Webb