We all love to hate politicians. We pick on their propensity to say what people want to hear and then do whatever they want to do. They are reviled, ridiculed, threatened, and repeatedly voted back into office. I guess our judgment of them is normally fairly accurate. However, accurate doesn't make it right.
Romans 2 tells us not to judge lest we be judged. "But I would never lie that way," we might say. The political system we have just makes it easier to attack others' faults because they are right out there in the open. Carl Paladino, Republican candidate for governor in NY forwarded emails that were off color, offensive and demeaning to different groups of people (women, blacks, etc.). We say off color, we mean sinful. Sinful because the spirit of those emails violate God's law first and foremost. Why did he do it? Because he found humor in them to some degree and thought that others would find humor in them as well. We would never do that! Our first reaction. Yet, how often does someone tell a joke, prefacing it with "It's a little dirty, but it's really funny." What would the spotlight of political campaigning show in our lives?
The truth is, we can never change another person. No matter how hard we try, we just cannot make another person behave in the way that we think is appropriate. So, do we just throw up our arms when it comes to politics? Absolutely not! But when it comes to finding faults that need to be fixed, we need to focus the spotlight on our own lives. It is easy to focus on the faults in another's life. But what about those faults in my life? What excuses do I make for my shortcomings (also translated as sin).
What should we do? We should use the same intensity as an investigative journalist to ferret out the sin that is present in our own lives. We should be relentless in discovering, digging up, and disposing of those things that are not conformed to the image of Christ in our lives.
What about others? We need to show grace. Every time we see something in a politician that we don't like, it should motivate us to make sure our lives are not the same way. If we do, their sin will help us clean up our sin. That would be a nice way to recycle the trash from someone else's life into something beautiful in our own.