Today is Election Day, the day when we, the citizens of America exercise our right to choose our government leaders. From the most powerful world leader, the President of the United States, to county commissioners and other local offices in the smallest towns, to state amendment and local issues placed in the hands of each one of us as individuals, our collective decisions will culminate to a final result.
It’s a weighty thing, this choice to vote or not to vote, to mark our ballot for one candidate over another, to approve or veto. Yet, it is a privilege hard fought for and hard won. Even when we are not happy with the choices placed before us, the fact remains that we do have a say.
This election campaign has been fraught with anger, fear, disgust, uncertainty, and in some, apathy. The country seems more divided than ever by ethnicity, socioeconomic status, political party affiliation, and any number of other demographics. Despite all that, the fact remains that by Wednesday morning, November 9th, one candidate or the other will be declared the winner of this controversial race.
No matter who wins, people will be upset.
Lots of them.
What will happen then?
How should we as Christians react?
We need to hold to the same principles that make us Christians in the first place. We are followers of Jesus, and the crux of His message is love.
So, rather than respond to your neighbor’s or coworker’s or friend’s or family member’s anger with more of the same, respond to their need.
Chances are, the anger is born of fear. Fear of the future and what it holds.
We Christians can overcome fear with love. Showing others that we care about them as people, regardless of race, lifestyle, economic status, position, or political views, provides a sense of security that cuts through the restricting bonds of fear.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear,
because fear has to do with punishment.
The one who fears is not made perfect in love – 1 John 4:18 (NIV)
Another weapon we have to fight the tensions that have fractured and probably will continue to divide our country for some time to come is prayer. Christians all over the nation have urged voters to turn to God in prayer before going to the polls. Still, whatever the outcome is, prayer will continue to be a formidable tool.
Our leaders, whether local, state, or national, need our continued support through our prayers. Pray for them to surround themselves with honest people who will assist them in making sound decisions.
Pray for wisdom to see issues in such a manner that all citizens are considered.
Pray for health and strength and courage for our leaders when standing up for what’s right is unpopular.
And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up
and planted, and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will
reconsider the good I had intended to do for it – Jeremiah 18:9-10 (NIV).
Pray that our leaders will seek God’s guidance in giving them a clear vision as to the path He wants this great country of ours to follow.
Love and prayer. Two arrows that, when used strategically, can pierce through the armor of fear that fences out security in our future.