I hate election years.
There’s a part of me – a part of me I don’t particularly like – that is exhilarated by politics. Debates. Speeches. The perfect soundbite. The stupid self-sabotage of a stray comment over a mic that should have been switched off. The excitement and promise of a shiny new candidate before they are mauled by wolves. It fascinates me.
I love history and stories of nations, kings, leaders, and the rise and fall of all manner of men. I love movies about politics – the deal-making, the intrigue, the power-broking, the drama. One of my favorite television series of all times is The West Wing.
But, there’s a big difference between fiction or history and real life.
It makes me nervous, the whole voting thing.
Does that happen to you?
Every Christian who speaks out seems kind of right to me at the moment I’m listening to them. (Okay, not EVERY one who speaks out. There are a few that sound like nutcases right out of the gate. I wish they were all so easy to dismiss.)
It sounds right when I hear Christians say it’s my duty to be informed on the issues and to back the candidate Jesus would back. Since I have a say through my vote, it’s my responsibility to be informed and, if I can, do even more than vote. I should promote whoever has a Biblical view on issues.
But then it also sounds right when other Christians say that because the Kingdom of God is not of this world, believers should stay neutral on worldly politics and power and be about the work of evangelism and ministering to the poor.
And then I get confused when some Christians back one candidate “for Biblical reasons” and some back the other “for Biblical reasons.”
And then, of course, there’s the spin, the hype, the image projecting, the hero-making, and the media-fed sense that if we just get the right guy at the top then everything will change and we’ll all have enough money, food, healthcare, and clean air to go around.
Having found my salvation through Jesus, I don’t believe anyone else will be saved by a man in a suit wearing a power tie.
It’s so hard to know a person from what they present on the surface. As I read the account of King Saul and the young David, I think that if I were an Israelite and an election were held for king, I’d have been just as likely to vote for Saul as I would have for David.
Saul was always fasting and insisting that others fast to show their devotion to God. David ate bread that was consecrated for the altar.
Saul was fighting the Philistines who attacked Israel. David spent some time living among them.
Saul had the finest warriors of the kingdom around him. David was followed by ” all those who were in distress or in debt or discontented.” I Samuel 22:2
I wouldn’t have known that behind the scenes Saul was consulting mediums and rejecting God’s direction in his heart. I can’t see that far into a person.
And, I’m aware of the wisdom of this verse from I Timothy: “The sins of some are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them.  In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not obvious cannot remain hidden forever.” I Timothy 5:24-25
David was just a man like I am (person, I mean) and knew how much appearances can be deceiving so he consulted God before making every move and then moved forward in faith.
And that’s what I have to do during this political season.
Know the issues – sure. Be aware of the candidates – obviously. Pray about my choice and vote as I feel led by the Holy Spirit but also know that the future does not rest in the hands of any man.
Jesus holds our future. The government shall be upon His shoulders.
So, I operate in this kingdom but my eyes are on His kingdom come and my energies are poured into building His kingdom on earth. These aren’t just words.
This is a mission statement and a set of guidelines to keep me moving when the rhetoric starts flying like red-white-and-blue paint balls.
What do you do to stay sane during election season?

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    The Conversation

  1. Anonymous says:

    Willie Nelson wrote a song I love. It’s about a troublemaker who never held a job, never owned anything, hung around with a motley crew, offended the authorities. My Jesus wouldn’t get elected to any office if he were to run today. But 2,000 years after he was here, we still hear about the miraculous things He accomplished. I’m so glad to be a part of his Kingdom. MOMMA

  2. I’ve voted since 1972. I’ve decided that in this fallen world EVERY election comes down to a choice between the lesser of two evils.

    • My first election was 1980. I was an idiot. I remember a woman coming to my door and sobbing because Reagan was elected. It was the first time I’d encountered someone who felt that her personal life was horribly altered by which party was in office. I was very thankful I believe God, not the President, has the most impact on my life.

  3. I think it is important to find out as much about the canidates as we can. I don’t listen to all the promises and redrick, I vote on what the man stands for. Where does he stand on the issues: God, abortion(murder), prayer, the church homosexuality, spending money we don’t have, and forcing us to a government regulated society. I see no choice but to vote for the team than comes closest to my beliefs. There is a lot of information on line that can give you the truth, but most important is to pray about it first. This will be the most important election we have ever had. Men and women have died to keep this country free. Do we just hand it over to the Socialists? I don’t think so. God bless you and the USA.

    Glenda Parker