Election Day Devotion

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United Church of Christ



November 2, 2010

Beware of False Prophets

Excerpt from Matthew 7: 15

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”

Reflection by Anthony B. Robinson

It’s Election Day all across the country today. So Jesus’ warning to beware of false prophets who are really ravenous wolves in disguise seems timely.

But how do you tell the false prophet, or false politician, from an authentic or a reliable one? You can’t always. Sometimes we get fooled. Sometimes we make the wrong choice. But Scripture does give us a few clues for discerning the true from the false.

True prophets don’t talk about themselves all the time. They aren’t constantly blowing their own horn. True prophets and good leaders give people a better story to live in. They remind us that we are better and can be better than we have been. They help us see the real challenges we face and take the first steps to meet them. They don’t pretend to have all the answers.

But maybe it’s not just the candidates or politicians who deserve scrutiny. It’s us. Sometimes these days we Americans appear certain that each and every politician is a false prophet or a ravenous wolf (apologies to wolves and their advocates J). I’m pretty sure that isn’t true or fair. I doubt that it is helpful. It does, however, accomplish something: it lets us off the hook. Why work for anything if the politicians are all crooks? For that matter, why even bother to vote?

So while we study the candidates to try to figure out who is real and reliable, let’s remember to be real and reliable ourselves. Say “no” to the cynicism that sees everyone in a leadership position as self-interested or everyone in politics as dishonest. Check yourself out,

and remember to vote.


I pray today for those who have the guts to run for office, to put themselves out there, and to let everyone examine them. Help us to examine ourselves, too. Amen.

About the AuthorTony Robinson, a United Church of Christ minister, is a speaker, teacher and writer. His most recent book is Changing the Conversation: A Third Way for Congregations. Read his weekly reflections on the current lectionary texts at www.anthonybrobinson.com.

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Our Church’s Wider Mission. Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America,adapted. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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