During the past couple weeks, we saw the RNC and the DNC go by and a lot of decisions and opinions have been cast. Whether or not you like our current commander-in-chief, something he said at the DNC was convicting to our entire country: “Don’t boo. Vote.” Recent voter turnout has been 60% during presidential election years and 40% during midterm elections— it’s no wonder we’re dissatisfied with our choice of presidential candidates… So in addition to Scriptures, we wanted to bring up common questions that we’ll help you tackle:
- There’s an electoral college. Why does it matter if I vote?
- Should I vote for the lesser of two evils?
- _______ claims to be a Christian. Should I vote for them?
7 Verses Christians Should Think About Before They Vote
There are tons of articles that claim to tell you whom Jesus would “REALLY” vote for, but instead of doing that we want to give you some helpful verses to think about as you hit your local polling places this November. Whether you’re leaning towards giving your vote to Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, or another party (or maybe you’re equally unhappy with all of the above) here are 7 things you should consider when deciding where to cast your vote in 2016.
1. Your Vote Matters
And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, “Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men. Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?” But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, “Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? Show me the tribute money.” And they brought unto him a penny. And he saith unto them, “Whose is this image and superscription?” They say unto him, “Caesar’s.” Then saith he unto them, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” –Matthew 22:16-21
In Roman culture, Caesar was a deity, but Jesus still exhorted the people to pay their taxes and do their civic duties while serving the Lord.
But it’s not my vote that matters, it’s the electoral college. Why should I vote? Your vote might not seem like much, and maybe instead of waiting in line at the polling place you took that much needed trip to the grocery store, but don’t be fooled… Choosing not to vote is a type of vote: a vote for apathy, and a vote to separate yourself from important issues in your country. Participation is essential to your faith and it’s your civic duty as an American to vote. Also, by voting you’re honoring those who have given their lives for your individual right to vote. If you feel guided to do so, vote for a write-in or a lesser known candidate, but don’t take your freedom for granted.
2. Remember Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Plenty of Christians make arguments for this candidate or that nominee based on whom has prayed for them or on secondhand character witnesses, but without getting to personally know each candidate, the faith walks of Trump or Clinton add up to hearsay. All over God’s Word we see what truly matters to him; here’s an example from James:
If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. –James 1:26-27
The big question here is, who serves the Lord’s purposes by looking out for the fatherless and the widows? Who desires to keep themselves apart from corruption? It’s not enough for a candidate to openly admit to their faith or their promises to uplift the lower classes — take a look at what they’ve historically achieved and what their own patterns have been. Is pride or honesty an issue?
3. Pray for Our Leaders
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. –1 Timothy 2:1-4
No matter how great your disdain for either candidate, or even the current president, the Lord wants us to pray for our leaders. You can’t control what policies or bills Hillary or Donald will pass, but you can decide how YOU respond, and the Lord examines the intentions of our hearts. Even if you decide to “throw away” your vote (go back to reason #1), you should probably be praying.
4. Put Your Trust in God
Don’t let fear influence your decision. Fear is usually a good indicator that you’ve allowed your fears to overcome your fear of the Lord or trust in Him. Can you truly make a sound decision based off fear?
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight –Proverbs 3:5-6
5. Seek God for Wisdom
Should I vote for the lesser of two evils? There’s no way any other candidate can win. Don’t make your decision a popularity contest– instead, seek wisdom through prayer:
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. –James 1:5-7
It’s wise to be an informed voter and read everything you can. We do all we can to achieve a balanced perspective of the candidates available to us, but we require discernment and wisdom to interpret the information we hear.
6. Don’t Allow Money to Dictate Your Decision
We can be disheartened by political corruption, national debt, ever-rising taxes, or the social security situation in our country, so how should we vote in light of these complex issues?
No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate one and love the other, or you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money –Matthew 6:24
7. You Can Choose to Serve the Lord
At the end of the day, we can’t control the actions of others. No matter who is elected into office, no matter how unpredictable things get, we can always choose to serve the Lord. As Christians we must also be prepared to stand with our values and take responsibility for our personal actions in any political climate.
“Your decisions are ultimately determined by what you desire the most,” says June Hunt in her minibook Decision Making. “The fundamental principle for each of us becomes, ‘Do I choose to please myself, or do I choose to please the Lord?'” Come November, will you have taken your time to make an informed decision? We’re not saying it will be an easy one, but it’s worth the time.
Note: Rose Publishing Inc. does not support or endorse any candidate for political office. We only encourage that you seek prayer and wisdom when voting.
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