We have just endured one of the most vicious and controversial Presidential elections in history.
Unfortunately, the two sides are not handling it well. One is happy, the other sad and angry, but mistakes are being made by both groups. Many people are not pausing to think through how to handle the election; they are just reacting out of emotion.
The STEPS can help, because they are tools to help us handle difficult situations effectively and bring more peace into our lives. Let’s examine how the STEPS apply to this election situation.
If your side won – Surrender any desire to gloat; it’s obnoxious and sometimes mean. It’s okay to act courageously on your beliefs when necessary, but pause to seek God’s will before you do. Then, move forward for the right reasons and in the right manner, not to make yourself feel superior.
If your side lost – The election is over, and there’s nothing you can do about it, so let it go and look forward. Decide that you will choose calmness, and wait in faith to see what happens. Then, if you don’t like the results, lobby for the issues you care about, but not by attacking a person.
If your side won – Be humble. Notice how you are acting, and work on any negative attitudes you have. Think how you acted when your side lost elections and learn from any mistakes you made.
If your side lost – If you are hurt or angry, the odds of making mistakes are much higher. If you have already done something spiteful, admit it and decide that you will adjust your behavior.
If your side won – This is a good occasion to exercise empathy and understand that some people feel scared or even violated. Silently grant them forgiveness, even if they may be acting inappropriately.
If your side lost – If you have done anything hurtful, ask for forgiveness, even if you still feel the same way emotionally. Don’t let the fact that you are upset screw up your relationships.
If your side won – Support our country with prayer. Pray that the new President will make wise decisions. Thoughtfully investigate issues, and people, in order to take knowledgeable positions.
If your side lost – Support our country with prayer. Pray for the new President to make wise decisions. Thoughtfully investigate issues, and people, in order to take knowledgeable positions.
If your side won – Set a good example for others on how to act in a gracious manner. Serve those who are upset by listening to them without getting defensive.
If your side lost – Set a good example for others on how to act in a gracious manner. Serve others, and contribute positively to the situation your country is in, by helping people heal and connect.
How to Handle the Election
The STEPS offer helpful guidance for all of us, even after such a divisive election. Perhaps some of the advice is a bit hard to hear, but that may mean that it is valid, and likely needed.
Let’s all think more about how to handle the election, rather than reacting blindly. By acting calmly and positively, we can take small steps to help our country come together and move forward.
Question: Which of the STEPS above addresses an area where you should improve?
Action: Decide to not let emotions about the election lead you to inappropriate behavior.