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Thoughts on a New President

There is no question emotions run high when a new President is elected. Some are ecstatic that “their man” was chosen for the highest office in the land while others bemoan the idea of spending at least four years under someone they vehemently disagree with on issues that are close to their heart. I’m writing this on  election night not knowing (but pretty confident) who our next President will be and wanted to share that regardless of which side of the political aisle you sit, if you are a Follower of Jesus we are called to one common response – earnest respect for the office of the Presidency and heartfelt prayer for the next Commander-In-Chief.

1 Peter 2 encourages the church to represent themselves well before those who are far from God. One of the ways we do that is by honoring the authority God has established in this world  and that very much includes the person at the top of the political org chart in America. 1 Peter 2:13-15 reads:

Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.

Followers of Jesus reflect God’s goodness and glory best not when they fuss about how many states went “red” or “blue” or complain to their co-workers how lousy of a man is the President-elect, but when they speak and live in a manner that displays respect for the President…whomever he may be. When we do that we are paying homage to the goodness of the general grace of God in his ordering of this world. Thus, however our emotions move us tomorrow morning, the tone and manner of our life for the day and every day after that should heed the words of 1 Peter 2:17 when it says, “Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.”

For me, I will begin tomorrow morning checking the news for the obvious. Then I will spend time in prayer for the one who has been chosen by the majority to lead our nation. I think that will help my heart put its best foot forward in “honoring the emperor” not merely for the emperor’s sake, but for my Lord’s.

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions,
and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions,
that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.
This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savio
– 1 Timothy 2:1-3 (ESV)

Picture of Yancey Arrington
Dr. Yancey C. Arrington is an eighth generation Texan, Acts 29 Network and Houston Church Planting Network fan, and Teaching Pastor at Clear Creek Community Church in the Bay Area of Houston. He is also author of Preaching That Moves People and TAP: Defeating the Sins That Defeat You, and periodically writes for Acts 29 and The Gospel Coalition.

21 thoughts on “Thoughts on a New President”

  1. Thank you for your words of encouragement, wisdom, and courage this morning as we all take our first steps forward toward this new presidency. I told Ryan last night, my hope is in the Lord no matter what even though I knew exactly where the ending would land.
    1 Timothy 2 will be my prayer. Thanks Yancey.

  2. I am very thankful that someone shared this with me today when I really needed a reminder of who I am and what my response should (and will) be. I’m sure God is using you to reach many people and give them the same voice of reason that I sure needed this morning. Thank you!

  3. Mandee Engelhardt

    Yancey, thanks for leading my thoughts in the right direction. I was in fear of what life has to hold. I know that I just need to turn it all over to Him and let Him lead the way. I prayed and will continue to pray for our new leader and our country.

  4. Yancey,
    …was thrilled to read your blog. To know that God IS using and has placed young men such as yourself in the future of America gives us all great hope.
    Romans 13:1

  5. I’m young, and I’ve seen God change a man’s heart in seconds. If I have the privilege of praying for the President for four years, then I know that with the wisdom of Prov. 21:1, this will be for His glory!


  6. Kristy Kirkpatrick

    Thank you Yancey for puting our priorities back in order! I do miss your lessons. Thanks for reminding us to keep Him first in everything, including politics. There is no seperation of church and state…

  7. Hi Yancey,

    I might be excommunicated from your blog (and perhaps the family) when I say that I voted for Barack Obama (and even had a sign in my yard – YIKES!). However, I do not agree with all of his policy positions, such as his stance on abortion. As a Catholic, I believe in the consistent life ethic- which means I am pro-life, anti-capital punishment, against embryonic stem cell research, etc. Since neither party is consistent with my beliefs, I base my vote on a number of issues such as the war, the economy, the environment, taxes, healthcare and education.

    I am a Christian who happened to vote for a Democratic candidate in this election. Some Christian leaders (even in my own faith) have condemned people like me for voting Democrat. But I truly believe I voted for the candidate who will do the best job for this country. I am saddened when I hear hate-mongers berate Barack Obama, a fellow Christian. What’s worse is it seems that most of this hate is coming from our own brothers and sisters in Christ.

    While one may disagree with the economic, social, or political policies of our President Elect, it is despicable for anyone to display such hatred toward any individual- much less the new leader of our country.

    I wish Election Day was in the spring. That way, after enduring months and months of all the political discussions that divide us, the summer Olympics would roll around shortly thereafter. We could cheer for our heroes like Michael Phelps and Nastia Liukin, forgetting our political party affiliations for a moment, and remembering that we are all Americans. There is more that unites us than divides us. And as Christians, we are especially called to be “lights of the world”, shining examples of love and respect.

    I commend you, Yancey, for calling upon your church members to pray for the next leader of our nation to have the courage and wisdom required to make important daily decisions. It was so refreshing to read this blog… it has such a great message. It is beautifully written and is exactly what this country needs to move forward during such a difficult time. I will be forwarding it on.

    Love in Christ,

    Your cousin-in-law Melissa 😉

  8. Mel, no worries. Thanks for chiming in. My intent was, and is, to make a spiritual statement not a political one. My hope for this post is that it would reinvigorate Followers of Jesus to be more overtaken by their (unified) spiritual responsibilities than their (varied) political persuasions.

    So, you’re still in the family…for now. 😉

  9. I was discussing the election with my dad this week, and he brought up an interesting point. He said that years ago, people respected the office of President, and that it’s unfortunate that today it seems very different. He said that the press and other media today has lost all restraint when it comes to criticizing our leaders, a view that contradicts Scripture.

    I may not agree with the outcome of this election, but I trust that God can work through anyone; and that as Paul wrote in Romans 8, “we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose”.


    Rick Burke

  10. Wonderful advice….however, where was all this “pray for our leader “and respect for the office while President Bush was lying awake every night praying for guidance…Seems to me that now the shoe is on the other foot, the rules for what is respectful and helpful fo r this country have all of a sudden become important!

  11. How comforting to know that no matter the outcome we rest in his promise.
    “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the GOVERNMENT will be on HIS shoulders. He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of HIS GOVERNMENT and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righeousness from THAT TIME ON AND FOREVER.” Isaiah 9:6-7a

  12. Yancey, thank you for your powerful insights into the real meaning of Christianity. I for one, will be praying for our leaders until I can pray no more. I remember when you used to draw pictures for my youngest daughter while we attended tennis tournaments all over Texas. Thanks for being who and what you are. You mother and dad and God the Father did a great job with you.

  13. Thank you for posting this Yancey. It is exactly what I needed to hear to restore my thinking and my heart in the right direction. We must come together and pray for our new President whether we voted for him or not. We are all in this together and must get past the differences we have to be a stronger people.

    Jennifer Leal

  14. Dear Yancey,
    I hope you don’t mind, but someone shared your blog with me because of this post. I just want to say THANK YOU! The verse in 1Tim 2 meant so much to me! I knew that prayer was the answer (it always is) but I really needed that verse today, to counter those who say we should not pray for our President. So thanks from a stranger 🙂
    Lee Binz

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