Thoughts on the First Presidential Debate

trump__clintonEarlier this week we witnessed the first of three presidential debates between the upcoming election’s two leading candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Thankfully, Monday’s event didn’t produce the chaotic stage many of us have come to expect during recent political debates. While there were plenty of attacks and interruptions during the 90-minute program, overall, the candidates were surprisingly respectful of one another. Personally, I would like to see a change in format for these debates, since the talking points of both Clinton and Trump didn’t provide the public with any new information, and their answers lacked true substance; but that’s a discussion for another day.

Today my concern is centered upon all the negative criticism I’ve observed regarding both of these candidates. Several weeks ago I wrote about the importance of examining ourselves amidst all the demeaning statements that are made in relation to these two individuals, and my concern still stands today. All of us, myself included, so quickly pass negative judgment upon political figures, without any thought as to how we would handle the pressure of the presidential debate stage. Yes, I have my reservations and doubts about each candidate, but I truly can’t imagine the pressure and anxiety one must feel while standing behind that debate podium in front of 80 million viewers, as Clinton and Trump did Monday evening. Yet, on social media sites, I’ve seen very little respect for our current leading presidential candidates.

More than likely, one of these two individuals will be our next president, but I constantly hear statements such as, “If this is the best we have to offer, we are in trouble,” or “This is truly a case of the lesser of two evils” (as if any person in this world is good), or “I think I would be better off leaving the country than sticking around to see either of these candidates win.”

All the while, noticeably absent is the Christian voice that says, “No matter how much I differ with Clinton or with Trump, I’m going to pray for them both.” 1 Timothy 2:1-2 reads, “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayer, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.” Did you catch all that? Let’s break it down:

  • Supplications, prayer, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,
  • Supplications, prayer, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for kings and all in high positions,
  • Lead a peaceful life,
  • Lead a quiet life,
  • Lead a godly life, and
  • Lead a dignified life in every way.

When you think about your reactions during this political season, particularly the reactions that you vocalize, would you say this verse characterizes your response to these candidates? If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, I encourage you to pray for them. Pray that they would value life both in and out of the womb. Pray that they would humble themselves, rather than defend their every action as if they are sinless beings. And finally, pray that the Holy Spirit of God would transform these candidates by faith in the Son of God, Jesus Christ, the only name by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12).


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