How to Biblically Handle Your Post-Election Triggered Self
I called the outcome of election night well before election night. Well, at least the non-outcome of it. If someone like myself could figure out months before election day the race wouldn’t be called decisively, surely state governments could have done something to get all legally cast votes counted on time? Seriously, spare us the drama.
The last thing this country needed was a chaotic election on top of a chaotic year. Many of us find ourselves reliving the PTSD emotions of earlier 2020 days. Remember those nagging feelings of fear, anxiety, and helplessness right after WHO declared the novel coronavirus a global pandemic?
Throw in a smattering of frustration and suspicion and that’s where I was the day after the election. 2020 has taught me some invaluable life lessons that only come from going through various trials. Now post-election, those lessons are being put to the test.
Be Slow to Make Assumptions
I completed this real-life crash course during COVID lockdowns, but I guess I needed a refresher. A tweet forwarded to me purported that the night after the election, Michigan added more than 138,000 Biden votes to its tally without a single vote for Trump. I believed it.
Why? It was in line with my bias. Because Trump is so hated by the Left, powerful forces behind the scenes will do anything to cause him to lose this election, even if by criminal means.
The lesson here is while our biases may have truth in them, they can also cause us to see incoming information from only one perspective. That can be dangerous, divisive, and misleading. Turns out, upon fact-checking, tabulators made an error and corrected it.
In the words of writer James Geary, “The mind revels in conjecture. Where information is lacking, it will gladly fill in the gaps.” How easy is this to do when there is partial understanding or missing facts!
As post-election events unfold, let’s ask God in faith for supernatural wisdom to be able to maturely respond, so that we might find ourselves anchored in one place, not tossed by the driving waves and steering winds around us (James 1: 5-6). King Solomon, one of the wisest men to have ever lived, urged us: “Get wisdom; get insight.” Wisdom “will keep you. Love her and she will guard you” (Proverbs 4:5-6).
In retrospect, I realize I was angry at a perceived injustice (potential voter fraud). In my anger, I hastily ingested information, that while validating my perception, quickly proved false.
Make Your Appeals Known to God
But certain injustices are worth the anger and action, so where do we take those complaints? The heaviness and worry we feel in our hearts is real.
The “what ifs” weigh on us much like carrying around 50 lb. bricks all day long. Add in the realization of how divided we are as a nation, and we find ourselves experiencing bouts of sadness for an America that we don’t see coming back, no matter how this election turns out.
We have a decision to make: Do we feed ourselves more social media posts, more news, and more information, stoking our fears? Or do we do the opposite of what we feel? Do we pull away and aside to prayer, airing it all out with God?
Obeying Philippians 4:6 makes it so anxiety doesn’t win as we take thoughts, concerns, and conjectures to God in prayer, believing He hears and answer us in faithfulness. This practice promises peace, and one that we possess even though it makes no sense to have it, guarding our hearts and insulating our minds.
Understand Where the Real Battle Is and Fight There
Our natural default mechanism is fighting our battles out of what we see and assess in our circumstances. But Paul tells us the battle is above us, not beside us. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces in evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).
In II Chronicles 20, after feeling overwhelmed by advancing enemy hordes, King Jehoshaphat was encouraged by Jahaziel who said, “Do not be afraid, for the battle is not yours, but God’s” (20:15).
When we understand who we are really fighting against and Who is fighting for us — and where this battle is taking place — our perspective is forever changed. It’s changed from temporal to eternal, from seen to unseen, from our strength to God’s. This understanding empowers us to be unlike those around us: grounded in faith, confident in affliction, persevering in hope. We know how the story ends: God wins and we’re on his team.
That makes us winners, too. In the end, this is how we should carry ourselves no matter the election outcome: as victors in Christ. Our eternal victory through Christ transcends this election, this year and carries us all the way to our heavenly finish line.
Annemarie McLean is a four-girl mom, freelance writer, and co-founder of Brave & Beautiful, a ministry focused on challenging young women to live purpose-driven lives full of courage and character, while developing Christ-centered inner beauty. Annemarie holds a journalism degree from Oral Roberts University, with graduate work in organizational leadership at Palm Beach Atlantic University.