Election Day is an exciting time for some people, while others approach it with feelings of dread, ambivalence or helplessness.
It’s easy to wonder, “Does my vote matter?” but the success of our system of government depends on the participation of the people, so your vote is certainly important.
As a Christian, you might also wonder, “Does God care about my vote?” How you vote is important to God, because the goal should be to honor Him through the process, just as you would in any other area of life.
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach; and it will be given to him. —James 1:5
Start your voting process with prayer. You can pray that the best candidate for the position wins, but you can also pray about your own personal voting experience.
Ask for God’s help in casting your vote. Pray that He would be honored by the choices you make and the attitude with which you approach your voting privileges. Ask for help in understanding the viewpoints of those who disagree with you, and request wisdom about your role in supporting the campaign of the candidate you choose.
Check the Scriptures
It would be nice if the Bible simply told you, “Vote for Candidate Jones,” wouldn’t it? You’re not going to find that sort of direction, of course, but the Bible is useful for guiding your voting decisions.
Consider the candidates’ stances on a variety of issues, and see what the Bible has to say about their positions. Many voters have a handful of issues that they consider make-or-break ones, but to be a well-rounded voter, also take a look at how the candidates’ opinions on the smaller issues line up with biblical teaching.
A person who has made a habit of lying and cheating in his everyday life probably won’t hesitate to do so in office, either. See what you can learn about a candidate’s track record for moral integrity in both his business and personal dealings. If he’s made mistakes in the past, look into how he’s owned up to them and made restitution, and pay attention to whether his actions have demonstrated that he’s truly changed.
Realize There’s No Perfect Candidate
If you wait to vote until the perfect candidate comes along, you’ll never vote. Sure, people scribble “Jesus” on the write-in line, but He’s not actually running for office, and other than Him, every person is fallible. Each candidate will have strengths and weaknesses. Look for someone whose views line up with yours as much as possible, but understand that no one will agree with you on every point.
Opt for Kindness
Many people feel passionately about their political choices. Perhaps you do, too. It’s good to have convictions, but be careful that you aren’t so committed to them that you turn people from the Gospel in your zealousness. Speak gently to those who disagree with you and steer clear of personal insults. It is more important to conduct yourself as a representative of the Gospel than it is to be an ideal spokesperson for your political party.
Remember that God Is in Control
Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth. —Psalm 46:10
Whether your preferred candidate wins or you’re disappointed in the results, God is still in control. Take comfort in the knowledge that God knows what the results will be before you even step into the voting booth. No matter who wins the election, God will still be the ultimate king, and His kingdom will last forever. In all circumstances, He will still be at work among His people.
Your approach to the voting process is just as significant as how you mark your ballot. Enter this voting season with a commitment to seek God’s wisdom, honor Him in your choices and trust His authority. Then rest calmly in the knowledge that you voted in the best way you knew how, and leave the outcome in God’s care.