Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Politics is Bad for Me

If you're reading this, then you probably know me. If you were to list my worst qualities, what would they be? This isn't an exercise in condemnation or even confession, so don't worry.
'Politics 6 ' photo (c) 2011, Erik - license:
I have no idea what that photo is, I just searched Wylio for "politics."

I, like almost everyone else in the world, struggle with pride. I'm competitive (not a bad thing, by itself), but a lot of times I want to win by making sure my opponent loses.  I want to make my opponent look foolish, because that will make me look wise.  I want to have the power to make decisions (or at least for people I agree with to make decisions) and I want to deny that power to those I don't agree with.  I tend to believe that people I disagree with are stupid, or too lazy to think through the issues, or blinded by immorality.

If you read that paragraph and think "That's not true," then we probably haven't discussed politics.

Which is intentional on my part.

I am (often more slowly than I'd like) being saved from the desire and effects of sin in my life... but it's slow going.  There's still a fair bit of darkness in my heart.  And politics is like crack cocaine for my dark side.  Every single thing that's evil in me is vociferously and voraciously attracted to political debate.  It's like chum in the water.  Brin said it best a long time ago:  The problem with power is not that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.  The problem with power is that it attracts the corruptible.

A friend posted a political link on my Facebook wall last night, and my (first) response was "That's like inviting a recovering alcoholic to a wine-tasting." Unlike my friends who are actual recovering alcoholics, though, I went ahead and clicked on the link, thinking I was above its effects.  Spoiler alert:  I'm corruptible.  And I think you probably are too.

Over the next three months, I have a limited amount of drive, of willpower, of mental energy, of conversations with friends and potential friends, and of focus.  Why should I spend it engaging in the division of this Kingdom, when I could be focused on the expansion of a better one?

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