The importance of voting

voting handsWould you say that it is more or less likely that:

  • you will become even more disappointed in this presidential election?
  • you will vote for someone that you cannot fully support?
  • you will not agree with all of your candidate’s positions?
  • you will need to compromise your own moral standards to vote this year?
  • you will be somewhat disappointed regardless who is elected?
  • Any real change for the better in your life or the lives around you will not occur as a result of who is elected?

It is not difficult to see the disappointment we are all experiencing, as a nation in general, and as Christians in particular with this Presidential election.  Several friends (believers and not) have expressed the extreme difficulty with which they are confronted in making this choice.  They feel the obligation to vote, to participate, to be heard, but are not enthusiastic about doing so.  It is quite pitiful.  Some even evoke the standard Christian go-to and ask, “What would Jesus do?”  But even that doesn’t immediately point to a clear choice.  And even when you seek the counsel of scripture you are confronted with the quandary of meeting your obligation to participate in doing what is right, while being presented with choices that are obviously less than righteous.  For example:

“Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.” Exodus 18:21

Yes we should do it, but the system we ourselves have created does not allow for able men (or women) who meet those qualifications to participate, or more likely, have scared off those that are qualified, but are unwilling to compromise those values and step into such a bankrupt and corrupt process.  So what is a Christian, or any other righteous individual to do?  Well this is my take, probably not unique in its proposition, but nonetheless, something I can live with.

My goal will continue to remain less invested in the things of the world and participate on occasion where there is potentially a significant payoff in terms of benefiting those in need or a cause that I feel a spiritual connection to.  (Here is where voting may come into play.)  My primary focus will be to otherwise seek investments directly into individuals that God places in my path that can use any help I may be able to provide.  I will continue to pray to God for guidance, and sadly, accept that my vote is never going to solve all of the world’s woes and pray that it improves something, anything, and then get on with my own work here as an agent of change for the better in someone else’s life.  I have come to believe that the real and true work we have here on earth does not happen in the voting booth or in the halls of congress, but is set out right in front of us, in those people that we meet and come in contact with everyday, and the conditions of hurt, sorrow, grief and need that we each can relieve; not relying on government to do the work that we as believers have been commanded to do by our God as a sign of our gratitude for what He has done for us.

So bottom line is to get on with this messy business of electing someone, regardless the distaste it gives us, trust God’s will, and accept that the solution is not and will never be the President or the government that is in power at the time.  And let’s get back to doing exactly what Jesus did do as an individual: serve those in need around us as best we possibly can with all of the resources and gifts God has given us.  If we all would just do that, I’m pretty sure that in the long run we would improve the world so much more than any President has in our history as a nation.  In closing, let’s keep our perspective and understand that voting on election day may not be the most important thing we do that day, depending on what or who God puts in our path, and how we respond to that challenge.