“Change We Can Believe In.”
“Make America Great Again.”
Pretty much every adult in America could quickly recognize and identify these recent presidential campaign slogans. These slogans serve as reminders of the many promises made by politicians throughout history, and at the same time, they also serve as reminders of the lack of follow-through accomplished by these politicians as they’ve failed to deliver on their promises time and again. While these failings certainly give us something to rant about on social media, the question I propose to you is this: Why does the government keep failing us?
Does the government continue to fail us because politicians simply lie, cheat, and make promises they never intend to keep in the first place? Sure, this is a possibility. Or maybe the real issue is the two-party system that dominates Washington, which seemingly prevents any real change from taking place. Or maybe the most vital issue in our nation is not the failings of the government at all; maybe it’s the expectations we place on the government. Is it possible that we expect too much from Washington? Is it possible that we, as Americans, have been groomed to believe that our most fundamental problems are due to bad government? After all, if our problems are due to bad government, all we need is good government and that would eradicate our country’s problems.
While I definitely believe government is ordained by God to protect and serve justice (Romans 13), I also believe the government is limited in its scope and influence. Therefore, when politicians make promises they cannot keep, it isn’t necessarily because they lied to the people; it’s more than likely a case in which the political leaders of this country are simply unable to do as they promised. You see, the government governs, regulates, and protects its citizens, but the government, like all mankind, is limited, even in countries with a totalitarian government. When God ordained government, He did not intend for it to meet all the needs of its citizens, nor did He even equip the men and women within government to do so.
John F. Kennedy was onto something when he proclaimed at his inaugural address in 1961: “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” So, on the one hand, we need to be the change we desire, instead of waiting on the government to change the things around us. An example of this can be found in the racial tensions of our day. Rather than wait for our government leaders to reconcile race relations, let us begin to engage in dialogue and to truly seek to understand our neighbors – red, yellow, black, and white – who are all created in God’s image.
Then, on the other hand, we need to stop placing our trust in worldly institutions that are limited by their very nature, and instead place our hope and trust in One who is infinite and unrestricted. While every person and every institution on earth will fail us and let us down, Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, will never fail us nor will He ever let us down. In Him there is lasting hope. In Him there is true joy and satisfaction. Therefore, I urge you to place your trust in Him, to stop looking to the things of this world for satisfaction, to repent of your rejection of God, and to truly place your hope in Christ alone. He is worthy of your hope, His unfailing love is eternal, and in Him there is true and lasting “Change We Can Believe In.” He might not ever “Make America Great Again” (whatever that might mean for you), but He Himself is The Great One, who will usher in not a temporary country with an unsatisfactory government, but an eternal kingdom, in which there will be everlasting joy, for He will be at the center.