Tuesday, November 8, 2016 marks the first presidential election in which I am eligible to vote, and despite the state of the nation, I feel privileged. The right to vote was hard won, first by our founding fathers who stood up to a tyrant king, then by a group of women who stood up to a government who told them that because they are women, their voices didn’t matter. Now, this right is hard defended by the American soldier. If for no other reason, I vote to express my gratitude.
Many citizens this election cycle feel particularly bleak about our options, and understandably so. The characters of the two major party candidates are abhorrent. Personally, I am voting third party. That is my right as an American citizen, just as it is your right to vote your own conscience. But no matter who gets your vote, there are some things all Christians should keep in mind this election season:
1) God will still be God on November 9, no matter who wins.
And God will still be God the next 4-8 years when we don’t like the new president’s policies. Even if our worst nightmares come true, God will still be God. Praise God that our hope does not rely on the results of this or any election, but in the irrevocable promises God has made to us.
2) Our neighbors are still our neighbors, no matter who they voted for.
The church is to stand united as the bride of Christ, no matter the State of the Union. There are members of the church voting for nearly every candidate. No matter how vehemently we disagree, we are not relieved of our duty to love and respect them. When we let something so small and worldly as politics divide us, we send a message to the world about what the love and grace of Christ can and cannot overcome. If we expect the world to believe that grace is real and at work in our lives, we must treat one another as if it is.
Pray for the leaders that are elected. Pray for our direction as a nation. Pray for the people affected by the policies our leaders will make. Most of all, pray for wisdom as you cast your vote. Pray without ceasing, because we are called to do just that. I can attest to the power of prayer in my own life, and our country needs it now more than ever.
As this election season of divisive rhetoric and explosive scandal comes to a close (good riddance), may we continue to look to Jesus, knowing only He can fix broken lives, a broken country, and a broken world. Policy is not the ultimate solution; it is love. More specifically, the love that Christ has lavished on us. May we be overflowing with that love, no matter who is in the White House.
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