Let me say at the outset that I believe it is both important and imperative that everyone eligible vote. We own the privilege and we bear the responsibility to exercise it. Also, let me say that I believe we as Christians should allow our beliefs and convictions to shape all the choices we make, especially the choices we make in the voting booth.
Having said all that, let me also say that quite possibly we put a little too much confidence in our elections. I have been voting since 1984, and every election I hear well-meaning brothers and sisters in Christ urge us to realize that "this election is the most critical election we have ever had."
I started following elections when Jimmy Carter was president and I voted for the first time during Reagan's "four more years" re-election. I have seen the progression from liberal to conservative to moderate, back to liberal and then to conservative. I have seen just about every combination of political persuasion in the White House and Congress. Yet if we are honest, we must admit that our national ethos has neither improved nor declined during the any of those tenures.
For some reason we have the idea that a political process can bring about a spiritual revival, but the "weapons of our warfare" are not of any earthly composition. When Jesus challenged us to influence our world in the Sermon on the Mount, He didn't instruct us to elect politicos of one party of another, but rather He told us to BE salt and light infiltrating our culture. When Jesus comes to consummate His redemption of His people, He will be riding neither a donkey nor an elephant, but rather a white horse.
So how can we REALLY make a difference in our world? Let me suggest 3 p's in the pod or in this case in the voting booth:
PRAY – Many times, the Bible challenges us to pray for our leaders, our families, our culture. In fact, we are promised that when we (God's people) get serious about praying that He will hear from heaven and heal our land.
PROCLAIM – We do not find the message that will bring revival in a candidate's stump or speech or in a party's platform, but in the liberating Gospel of salvation by grace through faith in Christ. The most important issue we can advance is the fact that God's love is displayed in the cross and that men and women need Jesus to make their lives complete.
PATTERN – The best sermon ever preached is the sermon we preach every day with our lives. When we as believers begin to live as we should – living like Jesus and loving like Jesus, then those around us will take notice.
We cannot surrogate out to elected officials our responsibility to raise the spiritual temperature of our culture. God has called us to do that. So if you have not already voted, do so today. As you cast your ballot, do so prayerfully and conscientiously, but more importantly leave the poll more prepared to BE the solution you wished your candidate would be.