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Recently, two public officials asked politicians to sign a pledge–to be respectful of other politicians, and to stand against incivility when they saw it. Of 585 politicians who got the pledge, only three signed it. They wanted to remain free to call others evil. Demonizing others is not new. It happened to David years ago. His enemy falsely accused him and betrayed him. In Psalm 52, David grieves over this injustice. He says, “All day long you plot destruction. Your tongue cuts like a sharp razor; you are an expert at telling lies. You love evil more than good and lies more than truth. You love to destroy others with your words.” He writes, “Here is the man who did not make God his stronghold, but trusted in his great wealth and grew strong by destroying others.” Rather than trying to get even with his enemy, David chose to trust God, “But I am like an olive tree, thriving in the house of God. I always trust in God’s unfailing love. I will praise you forever, O God, for what you have done. I will trust in your good name in the presence of your faithful people.” David rejoices that he has constant access to God’s presence. Rather than using lies and deception to destroy his enemies, David chose to depend on God for his success. Our politicians ought to keep David’s example in mind before they demonize their opponents.

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