This week many Christians will be voting in the primary election for their party. A few months later, they’ll cast their vote for the General Election for the Presidency of the United States. I’ve read some blog posts claiming certain candidates are the anti-Christ and others saying God has chosen them. Either way — projecting our religious beliefs and hopes onto a specific candidate is dangerous. No matter what happens — we’ll be electing a person. Not a messiah.
Whoever you choose to vote for, I hope you’re voting for them because you’ve prayed, sought God, and believe this is the best leader for the people of the United States. Whether you’re on the left, right, or somewhere in between, I think there are certain principles we need to keep in mind before casting our vote.
1. You’re A Citizen Of God’s Kingdom Before You’re A Citizen Of The United States.
Matthew 6:31-33 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
We can’t trade Kingdom principles for more luxury in the here and now. God calls us to be salt and light in the land we live in, not potato chips and comfort food.
Even though we live in Murrica’.
If you’re voting for a candidate only because you’re worried what your future holds, you’re not seeking the Kingdom of God. You’re looking to what they can give you to eat, or drink, or wear. Don’t get caught up in empty rhetoric and catchy slogans. Don’t fall for empty promises. Seek God’s Kingdom first and then, God will provide for our nation.
2. One Day, Your Kids May Ask Who You Voted For
Do you really want to tell them you believe in Christ — but you voted to elect someone who looked nothing like him? I know, I know. There’s not really any candidate who looks exactly like Jesus Christ. But there are some who at least resemble Him in some form or another. And then there are candidates who seem to be a direct offense on everything He stood for.
Don’t let your vote compromise your witness.
(Thanks for this reminder, Bruce.)
3. Jesus Said The Meek, Not The Boisterous, Will Inherit The Earth
I once read that meekness is best defined as power under control. The ancients used this word to associate the relationship between a horse and its rider. Horses are incredibly powerful, majestic creatures. But when a horse has been broken, when you place a bit in its mouth and a rider on its back – the two become one. It’s a perfect picture of power – capable of destroying when necessary, capable of carrying long distances when needed, capable of incredible speeds and pulling power. Meekness is power under control.
Ask yourself, does my candidate portray meekness? Or are they someone you’d be worried about holding your infant? (There’s a great article from John Piper on meekness. You can read it here: Blessed are the Meek.)
4. Pride Goes Before Destruction — And Acts A Fool
Proverbs 14:3 A fool’s mouth lashes out with pride, but the lips of the wise protect them.
We all know the old adage: pride goes before a fall. Biblically, that’s just not true. A haughty spirit goes before a fall. Pride, according to Scripture, actually leads to destruction. The President of the United States should be someone who is confident. But the last thing we want is a prideful know-it-all sitting behind the “red phone” and commanding our armed forces.
A prideful spirit is the mark of a fool. Proverbs has plenty to say about fools. Fools engage in slander. Fools joke about their wrongdoing. They express no shame over their sin. They are quick to quarrel and argue. They mock when arguing with others. They claim to be religious, but their tongue reveals the true state of their heart. And they also have really bad haircuts.
That’s not Scripture.
That’s just my opinion.
But Proverbs has something to say about fools and opinions too.
5. Greatest Of These Is Love
Hate begets hate. Every single time. The Apostle Paul said that the most important thing we have as Christians is love. Jesus told His disciples it’s how others should identify us. As Christians, the most important thing we need to do before voting is to ask ourselves: am I voting out of a place of love or a place of anger or betrayal or fear?
It’s easy to vote for the bully that promises to say and do everything you can’t. It’s easy to support the candidate who promises to do your dirty work. But don’t forget, the people in Jerusalem wanted the bully named Barabbas, not the meek carpenter called Christ. They didn’t want to vote for the guy who said He would lay down His life for love. They wanted the guy who said to take up arms and destroy the city. Let’s not fall for the same trap.
The greatest of these is, and always will be,
soli deo gloria