Love In, and After, the Voting Booth
I was asked last night, “Who are you voting for?” Good question. Here are some other questions I’m asking myself, and for you to consider, as Election Day nears:
First, if everyone’s vote was made public, how would that change our fellowship within our church? Evangelicals are divided on Hillary and Donald. Would our lack of agreement impede our love of one another, because of anger, or fear, or smug superiority, or resentment? If so, then we can safely say our desire for a certain candidate, or what we think we can get through a certain candidate, has become an idol - a good thing that’s become so important that it causes us to forget to love God and obey Him through love: “Let all that you do be done in love” (1 Cor. 16:14).
Secondly, what enables love in taking political action? The only thing that counts for anything is “faith working through love” (Gal. 5:6). This moves me to closer to clarity in choosing a candidate. In the privacy of the voting booth, will I act out of faith? Will I vote out of love for my God, His people, my family, and my nation? This love is not automatic in us; it will require faith, faith that “the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will and sets over it the lowliest of men” (Daniel 4:17). Some may chuckle and say that the last third of that verse is clearly proved by this election cycle. How has He proved the rest?
Third, in the days to come, what will matter most? It will not be who sits in the Oval Office, but Who sits on the throne of heaven. I don’t mean to say that we should disengage from public discourse or service - Daniel is an example to us, for having served faithfully under Babylonian dictators. But he was enabled to do so because he kept covenant with His God. The weight of his faith did not shift off of the God who loved him.
What are the conditions, spoken and unspoken, for receiving the blessings promised by Donald, or Hillary or any third-party candidate? Our King gives but one condition to His superior blessings: faith, working through love. “He shall seduce with flattery those who violate the covenant, but the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action” (Daniel 11:32). Clarity on standing and acting politically comes by knowing our Sovereign King better, in loyal love.