It appears that Donald Trump is still in the lead in many of the polls for the GOP primary. While it might not be surprising that upset Americans, on both sides of the aisle, are sick of the standard career politicians in the race, I find it odd that so many Christians, conservatives, and Republicans are still on the Trump bandwagon months after he has announced.
While a candidate’s policies are just as important, a candidate’s character is vital to whether they can be trusted to fulfill duties in public office. I don’t want to question his Christianity here, because that is between him and Jesus. I also don’t want to question his policies here, or lack thereof. I am also not going to question his electability here.
The common phrase is that only God can judge us, and while it is true when it comes to atonement, salvation, and eternity, we are granted a certain amount of discernment to judge people’s actions. I choose to judge Donald Trump’s outward actions through the way he treats others, to demonstrate his lack of character.
A couple years ago, I made a conscience effort to try and structure the way I treat other people based on part of one of Paul’s letters: 1 Corinthians 13. This chapter describes what “love” is, and if Jesus is love and we are supposed to live like Jesus, then demonstrating these qualities should reflect within someone of good, Christ-like character. While I fail often, I strive demonstrate these characteristics in the way I treat others.
Verses 4-6 in this chapter state:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
So I must ask:
Is Donald Trump patient?
Is Donald Trump kind?
Does he envy?
Does he boast?
Is he proud?
Is he rude?
Is he self-seeking?
Is he easily angered?
Does he keep no record of wrongs?
If a Christian can look at Donald Trump’s actions throughout his life, including recently, and say he exemplifies the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, then perhaps he is a man of character and his policies would be the next hurdle to cross. Perhaps he would be a fantastic candidate.
However, if a Christian looks at the life he has led, and finds him to be overwhelmingly selfish and self-centered, vulgar and rude, angry and impatient, bitter and mean-spirited–whether it be during the recent debates, his speeches, through his tweets, or on his reality show–it would demonstrate a severe lack of character. If Christians are meant to spread the love of Christ throughout the world, then supporting someone as such would send a poor message to the world.
I encourage Christians to factor in policies when looking at political candidates just as heavily as with character. However, don’t let one policy, one speech, or one trait cloud the ability to discern a candidate’s other actions.