Imagine if you ran for President? What forbidden pleasures would they find from your past? Or your present, for that matter. What would you do if millions found out some of the worst things you’ve ever said, either in public or in private? Scary, isn’t it? What if the public saw some of the most immoral places you’ve ever visited, either physically or online? How horrifying would that be? People you currently associate with, and people from your distant past………they would all know about what you did, what you said, and where you went. Admittedly, if someone publicly displayed the worst statement I ever made, I could never run for President…………because I would leave the country. I would be too embarrassed to stay. And the last time I checked, you have to actually live in the United States to be the President. So there is no hope for me to ever make it to the Oval Office (someone please shout ‘Amen’ here). The pain and embarrassment of my past wouldn’t be worth the power and notoriety that come with being President. I’ve heard too much horror about public shaming to ever willingly walk into it.
Better to Deal With Our Own Dirt
Public figures, especially politicians, are easy targets. There will always be something exposed in their life that will make you feel better about yours. If they are the opposing party, the media will make sure they always look really bad. And often times, trying to defend themselves only makes things worse. I’m not saying they are innocent of everything that is said about them. I’m saying that, no matter who they are or what kind of life they lead, they will always be slandered to one degree or another. It is just part of the game when you are in the public eye day after day. It happens to Donald Trump. It happens to Hillary Clinton. It would happen to you too. This is one reason why it is not healthy to consistently harp on the sins of others. Because if this pattern of ‘harping’ continues, you’ll start to look at everyone you meet through a fault-finding lens. If you are on this road, take a detour now.
How Close to Danger Are You?
So what is the evidence that you may be in danger of this? Well, for one, how do you speak about others when they are not with you? When you think of our unconverted leaders, do you criticize them more than you pray for them? Do you mostly have words of grace, or judgment? What about the social media threads that you find yourself commenting on? Do you comment on those specific threads because it makes you look better, or because you truly want to edify and protect the body of Christ? Do you comment more on threads that allow you to be gracious, or the ones where everyone is pointing fingers and pronouncing judgment? What about the poking fun and sarcasm? Is this more enjoyable than lifting people up? If you enjoy tearing others down, and always pointing out their faults, you have a serious spiritual deficiency. Remember, when you die, God is not going to judge you based on how you compare to Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. He will judge you according to His perfect holy standard.
Redirect Your Eyes
Take your eyes off of Donald Trump for just a few moments. I realize it’s so hard to do that when the media keeps pounding away on every single thing he says and does. Not only that, but we are constantly reminded of all the bad things he ever said and did in the past. Even though the election is over, and Trump is the President-Elect, the dirt digging continues. Granted, much of what he has said deserves to be brought into the light and examined. And some of it should be outright condemned. But I’ve noticed that some people are over-fascinated with his faults. Some just have a beef with everything he does, and want to paint him as the worst lowlife to ever win a presidential election. Many people are just watching and waiting for him to screw up……and then of course, to let everyone on Facebook know just how “right” they were about not voting for him. It would be foolish to deny that this kind of thing is happening almost daily on social media. Not everyone is guilty, but some definitely are. Sadly, it is becoming normative to slander Trump, his family, and anyone that works with him. This approach isn’t working. Just take a look at the news. These are some sad days for the stars and stripes. There is a much better way to deal with all of this.
Slander Is Not Holy
The attitudes described above are not Christian. Exodus 22:28 states, “You shall not revile God, nor curse a ruler of your people.” Pretty clear text. And no, I am not condoning the sins that Trump has committed. I am simply saying that God is His Judge, and this obsession with his sins has got to stop. There is a serious warning here: a warning that we dare not miss as Christians. We can become distracted from our own sinfulness (and need to repent), by being more distracted over the sin of others, especially when we dislike that other person. And when we are too distracted from our own need to repent, we forget about how much we need Jesus every moment of every day. And sin goes unchecked in our Christian walk. Self-righteousness is not far away when this kind of thinking prevails. A skewed view of the cross is also not far away. We are a train wreck waiting to happen.
Be Careful of Holier-Than-Thou
Most unconverted men aren’t that different from Donald Trump. Not true you say? Guys, especially those of you who were saved later in life (like me), let’s be honest. What if some of your past interactions with women were exposed to the general public? You know…….the workplace flirting? Your time at the bars and clubs? The gym? Oh, and what about all the text messages and “private” chats you had? How would you feel if any of these messages were shown on the Nightly News? What about the next time you have dinner with your family? Would you be able to look your sister in the eye? I don’t know about you, but I would be mortified if some of my conversations were recorded and played back to the general public. The shame would be unbearable.
It is really scary just how the unregenerate male mind works. For most unsaved men, sex is his god…….or at least one of his primary gods. It’s usually what drives him. It’s what he thinks about. And when your heart is filled with the god of sex, the overflow comes out in conversations with attractive women. It is a sickening, but accurate, reality. Donald Trump certainly went too far in his recording. No question, bragging about groping women is wicked. But let’s be honest men. Most of us have been guilty of objectifying women in one way or another. Our sin is deserving of God’s wrath too. In our pre-Christian days, we often treated women as though they exist for our pleasure alone. Aren’t you glad they never put you on a hot mic?
Before Coming to Christ
When I think back on how I lived before I came to Christ, it really scares me. And it scares me even more to think about what I would have become……had God not so graciously intervened. But remembering how bad I was also helps me to appreciate Jesus even more. And for this reason, we ought to stop with the constant focus on the sins of Donald Trump. If we continue to talk about all of his faults, we are playing the ever dangerous “comparison game.” And when you play that game, you never appreciate the cross of Christ. What you appreciate is how good you are compared to others. If these thought patterns continue, they will destroy your peace. The Christian life will never be lived out with sacrificial love toward others. It’ll be lived out with a constant eye on the behavior of others, whether they are in the White House, or in your small group at church. You’ll get more pleasure out of observing than serving. Please don’t go there.
Ladies, Have You Been Guilty?
Ladies, it is difficult for me to say this, but it does need to be addressed. While I admit that Trump has been a womanizer in the past, and it is easy for us to paint him as an evil pervert, I must ask this question: Hasn’t Christ forgiven you of sexual sins? Can you claim any righteous superiority over him? Think for a moment. Have you done anything to contribute to the hyper-sexualized culture we find ourselves in? Anything at all? What if pictures you put up on a dating site, or social media account, went viral publicly during an election season? Did you ever send any racy pics to the opposite sex? If it ever came out that you did, how shameful and horrifying would that be for you? I mean, most everyone you know would see them! You know that “hole” that was created when your past dirt was dug up? It would now be time to crawl into that same hole and never come back out.
The Very Thought Of It Should Make You Blush
Imagine this. You’re a woman in the midst of campaigning for a prestigious government office. One day, you’re sitting in your living room watching CNN. You want to see how well you’re doing in the polls. You want to hear what your opponent is currently saying about you. And then, all of a sudden, there it is……..on your TV screen. It is a video of you from 10 years ago, before you met Jesus. Needless to say, your spring break outfit is shockingly immodest. And you are chugging a beer as you speak. Your drunkenness is painfully obvious to everyone. You may not even remember the day the video was taken. You probably don’t remember who those men are standing next to you. But now, because of that one crazy weekend years ago with your friends, millions of people now stereotype you as a drunken, promiscuous flirt. And you are publicly shamed for it. Worst of all, there is nothing you can do about it. Apparently an old boyfriend you broke up with now wants revenge. He found this picture and now wants to make life miserable for you. He finds joy in it. And as wrong as that is, people will stoop to such nastiness in a fallen world………with almost no guilt whatsoever. Does this hypothetical scenario frighten you? Does it soften your heart a bit more toward those in the public eye? Does it make you appreciate Jesus more for all that he has forgiven you?
We Are Not Better Than Trump, or Hillary
We all think we are though. But Christian, please listen to me. This is such a dangerous place to be. Believe me, I was there and it is not a good place. After the infamous recording played (of Trump bragging about groping women), I remember thinking how superior I was when it came to my treatment of women. I was comparing myself to Trump, and was so proud of myself for supposedly coming out on top. But God’s Word is powerful! Romans 12:3 states, “For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” And Scripture also says, “Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12). It would be good to keep these passages stored in our hearts.
As my web page title states, let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus! Not on Trump’s sins, and not on Hillary’s sins. All that will accomplish is making you feel more superior to others. And that will eventually drive a wedge between you and Jesus. And that is something you simply cannot afford. Keep your eyes on that precious cross, and you will have no desire to keep them fixed on the White House. And just to clarify, not all of you are guilty to the degree I am warning about. I am speaking in general terms here. But those of you who are guilty of building yourself up at the expense of others’ public shame, you ought to repent. Because at that moment, your soul is likely in more danger than either Trump or Hillary.
God knows all of your dirt. All of your filth. And yet, if you are in Christ, it has all been washed away. He will never dig it up and expose it. He will never publicly shame you for your dirt. Jesus underwent all of that public shame for you……..directly in your place. Praise His Holy Name!! And keep your eyes fixed on our glorious King!!
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