Posey '87 - The Politics of Spiritual Life
Jesus mandates that we let
our lights so shine before men that our Father in heaven would be glorified.
The political arena, characterized by its cutthroat tactics, selfish agendas,
and inflated rhetoric, seems to oppose the basic tenets of Christian citizenship.
Yet, God has commissioned
some of His children to serve Him in that very arena, children like DeBorah
Posey '87. As the executive assistant to U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-Ill.),
Posey embodies the idea of God's soldiers on the battlefield. Her career
on Capitol Hill provides an intense proving ground of her faith in Christ.
"It can be very challenging
because so many issues arise that could compromise my faith," Posey admits.
"If you're not rooted and grounded in God's Word, then politics can confuse
or frustrate you easily."
her faith on a daily basis amidst the relentless pressure and scrutiny
of the political world does have its advantages for Posey. It compels her
to decide every day where her priorities lie.
"I make a conscious choice
to put Christ first in everything. My spiritual life applies to my political
life. For most people in this environment, their political lives seem to
take precedence over their spiritual lives."
The recent national controversy
over the Pledge of Allegiance was the latest matter that required a faith
stand. She assesses the conflict in a broader sense and practical terms.
"'In God We Trust' is on
our money. Are we going to stop spending our money or change every mint
to take that phrase out? Most schools don't say the pledge anymore, but
we open the Congress everyday with prayer and no one has complained about
that. We open our daily government activities with prayer but we can't
recite the pledge in our schools?"
Her reaction exemplifies
the strength of her faith. As easy as it may be for one's faith in God
to waver or sink under the stress of political uncertainty, Posey rests
in the security of God's sovereignty.
"I don't worry about a lot
of things that most everyone else does. When the controversial issues arise,
my faith tells me that Jesus will work it out. That's difficult for a lot
of people, and they wonder, 'Jesus first? How can you say that?' Without
that solid foundation in the Lord, my job could deter me."
Her time as a student was
a microcosm of what she would face in her career. Thus, she believes that
the College played a vitally instrumental role in sharpening her Christian
"Trinity reinforced the notion
that the world is a mixed bag of people. My college years showed me that
I would encounter and interact with people who had different backgrounds,
ideas, and perspectives than I had. I felt then that if I could succeed
at Trinity, then I could succeed in the world.
"I learned to open up to
something different. I wanted to learn about the people with whom I shared
a classroom and residence hall. I wanted to know more about their culture
and expose my culture to them. That open-mindedness has been a big help
for me in politics. It helps me to not take things at face value but to
take a closer look at what's going on."
Posey has a deep passion
for helping people squeeze the best out of life. After graduating from
Trinity 15 years ago, Posey worked in the College's admissions office for
three years. She later served as the director of a community youth network
center in Chicago, where she engaged in crisis intervention and counseling
with foster care children.
She plunged into the political
pool in 1994. After contributing to work on a referendum for a high school
in her hometown of Chicago Heights, Illinois, she joined Rep. Jackson's
advancement team during his congressional campaign. When he won the election,
she joined his staff in Washington, D.C.
As a Christian, Posey must
uphold the Bible. As a Christian in politics, she must adhere to the law
of the land, which the Bible commands so long as the law does not cause
her to disobey His Word. Her faithful commitment to both has an impact
on those around her.
"Not everyone I work with
is a Christian. Everyone does not think from a spiritual perspective. If
your light shines or people see something different about you, they tend
to migrate to what you have; it gives them a sense of comfort. People will
ask me to pray for them or they will talk to me about some serious matters
they're going through.
"That's the real joy of
serving the Lord here. In this kind of environment, witnessing is a matter
of opportunity. I always have to have a word ready for someone. I never
know when that time will come, but I have to be ready when it comes."
Posey is careful to maintain
the balance the children of God must have in the world. She understands
that Christians are the Lord's favorite vessels for evangelism, and not
only does she embrace that honor, but she also sees it from its proper
point of view.
"People aren't concerned
with the fact that you go to church; they look at how you walk. The running
joke in my office is, 'Don't worry about Deb; she said Jesus will fix it.'
That used to bother me at first, but now people know who I am and what
I believe. So now when something big comes up, people will come to me and
say, 'Remember us in your prayers.' So it's good that people can see my
spirituality but also know that I'm approachable, I like to have fun, and
I'm not 'holier-than-thou.'"
Posey loves what she does,
but most importantly, she loves who she is and whose she is. That reality
manifests itself in every facet of her life and keeps her spiritually alert.
"As long I work in politics,
the challenges will always be there, but I don't worry about them. My prayer
is that I'll be ready for the challenges."
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