Fathom Mag

How do we cope with the outcome of the election?

Published on:
November 11, 2016
Read time:
3 min.
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November 9 finally came. A long-awaited day that boasted promise of an end to the chaos that every election season brings. But as we all should have known at the core of our convictions, November 9 has not healed anyone’s hurt. Nor has it renewed a unity or acceptance of our fellow Americans—and especially our fellow believers—who look, think, or align themselves differently. 

It is easy to believe that one candidate was truly better than another.
Kristina Shiddell

Now what? Now we take inventory of our misplaced hope, we repent and we return, and we respond as those who never chose to cling to November 9th in the first place.

For those who are grieving in the wake of Trump’s win—fearing a future of hatred, oppression, violence, and discrimination—I grieve at that possibility too. I am so sorry if you feel like hope is lost.

To those who would have grieved the alternative—mourning the disregard for the unborn and feeling alienated or restricted for their moral and Christian convictions—my heart would break for that as well, as I care very deeply about those things.

It is easy to believe that one candidate was truly better than another. And for various motivating reasons defined by every individual, votes were cast as to who should lead our nation. That is part of this democracy we uphold. Every person is free to vote their conscience and convictions, but then every person is called to submit to the authority that is established. Whether you are pleased or not with how things ended, it is now our present reality.

But let us remember that neither outcome would have truly healed the broken. Both a Trump or Clinton presidency alike would produce victors and victims, bullies and bullied, hopeful and hopeless. Each candidate drew lines—both intentionally and unintentionally—that would have left some population of the vulnerable and marginalized without defense. So, if we’ve wrongly been tempted over the past year to place all our hope in an earthly ruler or the policies of men, let’s remember that these things are fleeting and unable to mend the deepest hurts and afflictions of the human heart.

Drew Angerer

So, how do we celebrate, despair, or simply cope with what has come to pass? If you are a believer who supported Trump, do not taunt those who are discouraged, criticize the intentions of their heart, or place more trust in the president-elect than in the King of Kings. If you are a believer who voted for Hillary, please do not think that you are more wise and merciful than our sovereign God who has ordained each day as it shall be. And if you are a believer who chose a third party or abstained entirely, you must continue to critically choose how to glorify God with your thoughts, words, and actions in this outcome. 

But we must remember, regardless of policy lines or personal opinion, what truly is going on in our broken world. Racism is a gospel issue. The murder of the unborn who have no voice is a gospel issue. The sexualization, silencing, and demeaning of women is a gospel issue. Religious liberties are a gospel issue. The care for the poor and the foreigner are gospel issues. Partiality shown to the elite is a gospel issue. Dishonesty and corruption and all its effects are gospel issues. Every rotten fruit that sin will produce is a gospel issue.

Please do not shout from the rooftops your care for one of these things while entirely dismissing the others. Pray fervently for each, and advocate for all things that are scripturally good and true. Do not compromise in your bold adherence to biblical conviction, but do not be too proud to weep with those who weep—even when they believe differently than you.

This is why no one candidate promised to provide a final redemption for those who fix their eyes on eternity. The gospel will not be fully found in the divisive stands that politicians make. One day though, every issue will be resolved—just not by any man or woman. Until then, let’s imitate Christ in the way we bear each others’ burdens.

Editor’s note: The views described here are solely those of the author and not those of Fathom.

Kristina Shiddell
Kristina Shiddell is a graduate of Baker University and the Kanakuk Institute, and is currently working on a MA in Theological Studies and Christian Counseling from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. She has the privilege of doing discipleship as her job at Lightbearers Ministries International, and also serves as a deacon and the children’s director at The Hill Church in Fayetteville, AR. Aside from that, she's a believer in March Madness, traveling as often as possible, and always aiming for at least 8 hours of sleep a night. You can find her on twitter or instagram @stinashid.

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