New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is preparing to run for president. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is said to be “seriously” looking at a run as well. As are Senators Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. Former Governors Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney are already building their campaigns.
But no one has generated as much recent political buzz as former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who told The Washington Post, “You can absolutely say that I am seriously interested” in running for the White House. A close second in political news has been the furor over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu‘s upcoming message before Congress. House Speaker John Boehner invited Mr. Netanyahu, a move that surprised the Obama administration and led to widespread criticism. As a longtime supporter of Israel, I am especially interested in the outcome of this developing story. (To learn about our spring Holy Land pilgrimage, go here)
Ask Google “who will win in 2016,” and you’ll learn that “the Democrats will win in 2016. No question.” But just down the screen: “History shows that Hillary Clinton is unlikely to win in 2016.” Further down is the headline, “Rand Paul will win the 2016 primaries, and the presidency.” Followed by “16 reasons why Hillary Clinton will win 2016.” Clearly, Google is confused about the election.
Here are three clear imperatives Google doesn’t list:
One: political candidates deserve our respect. It’s far easier to lampoon those running for office than to pay the price to join them. We are to pray for “all who are in high positions” (1 Timothy 2:2), including those who aspire to such office. Without their service, our republic would fail. We should be honest in assessing their strengths and weaknesses, but speak of them as we would speak to them (cf. Matthew 18:15).
Two: God is calling more Christians into public service than are answering his call. James Davison Hunter has demonstrated that culture changes when we achieve our highest influence and live there faithfully. Have you prayed about serving your Lord and country through political office?
Three: God wants us to measure significance by his standards, not ours. Consider Ernie Banks, the Hall of Fame baseball player who died last Friday. “Mr. Baseball” was born in Dallas, Texas in 1931. Beloved in the game and around the world, he played in 14 All Star Games and hit 512 home runs. In 2013, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
After his death, National Public Radio aired an interview with Mr. Banks in which he told the reporter, “I haven’t done anything yet.” He did not feel that his achievements in baseball were significant enough to warrant the acclaim he had received.
You may never be president or make the Hall of Fame, but your Lord will reward forever every act of faithfulness today. So “let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1). God’s call is the race that matters most.