One of the hardest things to read in the Bible is when, in John 16:33, Jesus says, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation but take courage; I have overcome the world.” Paraphrase… This world is a broken, sinful, even evil place. And Jesus didn’t come to make an evil place a bit better. He came to bring a brand new, eternal Kingdom because of His work in this world for all. So, when it comes to perfection, eternal life, that’s a God thing on God’s terms by God’s work for all. But we live in this world with that comfort and peace. We live in this broken world and in many ways, we are trying to make it the best place it can be while proclaiming that “you ain’t seen nothing yet” if you put your trust in God.
So, how should we handle those temporal questions about how to get along with each other in this world? How should we organize ourselves for the sake of liberty, justice, and peace? Well, whatever way you try to do that, don’t forget the fundamental truths. You are dealing with sinful, broken people through and through. Whatever policy or temporal solution you put forth, there are going to be side-effects and tradeoffs. Why? Sinful people never are going to get things perfectly right and as someone has said, “The demand for perfection is often the enemy of a “good” solution.” No utopianism here because this world is always going to be “full of trouble.” So, here’s some practical how to’s when thinking about what to vote for, what to vote on, or how to engage in conversations with others about what might be better for us all… It’s always a “Tradeoffs conversation.” If someone asks you about public issues or topics, you might say, “Compared to what?” There will always be unforeseen consequences and side-effects. The key through it all would be to create the most good while tempering the most bad, and always realize that God has the final answer in all these things anyway.