On the heels of a Democratic party upset here in Maryland yesterday…seeing Republican, Larry Hogan defeat Anthony Brown in the race for Governor; on social media, I am seeing lots of angst from all the voters towards those who did not vote. I’m also seeing quite a few giving reasons why they chose not to in this 2014 general election.
I won’t go political today. The votes were cast and it is what it is. We as Americans have to continue on doing what we can to make this a better America on our own steam, and pray for our Leaders (regardless of party affiliation). But the atmosphere the election left behind, inspired me to blog today about the top five things voting has in common with our faith.
1) DO YOUR RESEARCH — Just as we need to know what each candidate is standing for…their views on fiscal budgets, public education, etc.; we also must know God and His expectations for us as believers, by reading our Bibles. The same way we can’t/shouldn’t take other people’s word for what a candidates platform is, we should be as diligent not to simply take the word of Pastors, family, & friends about the things of God. The only way to be one hundred percent sure is to stay studying the Word for ourselves.
2) NO COST — There is no cost to us to vote. Yep…just like casting your vote, our salvation, getting to know God, praying, and obtaining a relationship with Him, is free and available to us if we truly desire it. You don’t even need to register to have it. You only need to call on the name of Jesus. It’s that simple.
3) DON’T GET MAD — Instead of posting passive aggressive statuses about all of your friends and family who didn’t vote, why not just focus on the fact that you did. At the end of the day, people have the right to vote, but that also includes the right NOT TO. You have no control over what people choose to do or who they choose to vote for. The same goes for us Christians. Stop focusing on what music Susie from church is listening to; why Dylan from prayer group is dating, not courting; why Pastor Jones uses a Bible app instead of a physical Bible; and all this dumbness we fixate on as “churched” Christians. You have no control over what people of faith do or who they choose to associate with. Nor are you able to judge their level of commitment to God based on your narrow view of what a REAL Christian looks like.
4) CONTINUED COMMITMENT — Although there is no financial cost to vote or know Jesus, there are certain responsibilities that come with our choice. There is this looming, unspoken level of apathy many of us have once election is over. “Well, I did my part and voted.” To some degree it is correct. I mean, we can’t do the Mayor’s job, it’s it’s up to the person in Office to do their job. But it is also our responsibility as Americans to be proactive in the after-election process. To stand up for causes which stand for equality. To make noise when a nationwide wrong is done. To petition the Leaders…holding them accountable for the promises they made. Instead of simply waiting until the next election to happen, we should be involved in making this our America a better place. The same goes for our faith. Once many of us are born again, we idly wait for Jesus to perform miracles in our finances, health, marriages, and so on. We give Him courtesy bumps…pray sometimes, read sometimes, do good works sometimes; “Well, I did my part and got saved.” But you haven’t surrendered to God in every area of your life… shoot, in ANY AREA!!! You’ve got to get moving and involved in actively dying to self and fulfilling the great commission.
5) LET IT GO — If your desired candidate wasn’t chosen, instead of spending the next six months posting hateful rhetoric about him/her and blaming every negative thing that happens in your city or state on them, why not instead congratulate them and offer your support. The bottom line is, there is always next time (if indeed we’re still alive). It’s kind of like football. Check it! Often times, when a person’s favorite team doesn’t make the playoffs, they will rally behind another team. It’s doesn’t mean they’re no longer a fan of their team, it’s just that the reality is, it’s game over for the favorite. So, why not lend your cheers to another for a while… just until the next season. The team losing does not have to define your character. Regardless of the team, you are still the same person and at the end of the day, somebody has to win. Let’s stop letting defeat define our character as believers. We will run into roadblocks. We will be disappointed by a Leader in the church. We will see people choose other churches over ours. We will see people turn their backs on Christ and others never accept Him. Stop being angry because your friend isn’t saved. Stop throwing shade at the cousin who chose a different religion than you. Stop posting scriptures with subliminal captions about who needs to read it. God is not a God of confusion or manipulation. His Word is perfect, not a tactic to be used in such a manner. His Word is truth and it is to be shared ‘in love’. We can’t allow these things to dictate how we act or treat others. We must continue forward in the faith. We must continue being salt and light. Focus on your own walk because believe it or not, you and I, still have a long way to go. For none are righteous (please read Romans 3:9-20 for reference… as I stated in point #1, do your research).