Bring Your Bibles to the Ballot Box :: By Holly Spate

On November 3rd all Americans will be given the opportunity to cast their ballot, a privilege afforded to us by those who came before us…those who, through tireless sacrifice paved the way to freedom and a better life for all. A life filled with promise, opportunity, and the hope in knowing that, through hard work and determination, dreams can become realities.

Voting is both a right and a responsibility for everyone. Why? Because we’re tasked with the responsibility of leaving this life better than we found it…of leaving this great nation in greater repair than we received it. It is an act of love shown to our fellow man and future generations. It is also a testament of thanks and gratitude for all, present and past, who have sacrificed so much, many at the expense of their lives, to preserve this nation for us. It is a gift to be cherished and passed on, affording others the same blessings and opportunities to live their lives the way we have been blessed to live them… in a country where the sweet sound of freedom rings.

Some may disagree, but I believe as followers of Christ it’s our responsibility to cast a ballot.

Why? Because God wants us to take a stand for truth and what’s right. We are called to be salt and light and can exercise that fruit in our lives when we vote for policies that uphold God’s commandments. In other words, we’re to vote for policies most in line with God’s principles and what we know are morally, ethically, and Biblically right. We’re called to stand for truth even if we find ourselves standing alone. And, as we cast our ballot, we’re to remember we represent Christ, and our vote should reflect that.

Let’s keep in mind as well that nothing is perfect this side of heaven. There has never been, nor will there ever be the perfect candidate, platform, or policies. Because of sin and man’s carnality and imperfection, you will not find perfection at the ballot box…ever.

The perfect kingdom, perfect platform and policies will be experienced by all believers when we go home to glory to be forever with our Lord and Savior, the maker and perfecter of all good things!

At the same time, remember: When we vote we are to look at the policies and the candidate’s stance on those policies to make sure we are voting for the best choice…the choice that best reflects Godly principles: morality, values, family, faith, life, etc. Again, we will not find everything in one person or platform, so we must vote for the person whose policies best reflect Biblical standards. Our choices do have consequences, which is why God calls us to be discerning concerning both who we vote for and the policies we support. Because no candidate/policies will line up in perfect step with God’s Word, we need to pray that God will change the hearts of those in our government so that they will have their hearts softened and come under submission of the Savior.

We, as God’s people, need to be on our knees asking God to always bring leaders who will establish God’s perfect will, what’s right, and what’s best.

Let’s be very clear: The only person who ever walked the face of this earth that was infallible and perfect with a perfect plan was Jesus Christ. The rest of us are sinful, broken vessels. We are imperfect beyond belief, but Christ died for us anyway. His love looked past our brokenness, our flaws and imperfections, and saw what we could be…what we can be, with His help. It is because of Christ that we have life, liberty and can pursue the ultimate happiness. It is because of Christ that we’re called to stand for what’s right despite the imperfections of humanity. And our Savior makes it very clear that He can and will use us broken vessels for His purposes.

Let’s not forget that God used imperfect people all the time in the Bible. There was not one human back in Biblical history or any time in history who had a perfect record or didn’t mess up. Only Jesus has the right to that claim. Everyone else?… we’re all imperfect, but praise God, He can still use us, and He does.

As you cast your ballot this November, remember: We’re not called to be the Laodicean church. We’re called to be active and passionate about the things of God. We’re to uphold His commandments. We’re to step up for causes that further His cause.

Each of us will one day stand before our Maker and give an account of our life and the decisions we’ve made. One of those decisions is how we voted at the ballot box. Popular opinion will not matter then. Being politically correct will not matter then. What will matter is where your heart was.

Did your vote represent Christ? Did your vote choose the candidate/platform that best represented what’s right and good? Were you guided by God or yourself or others? Was your decision wrapped in prayer or pride? Did you take a stand for things that God views as valuable: life, liberty, family, and faith – or did you compromise? Did you humbly seek God’s best and His will as you cast your ballot?

These are the questions the body of Christ should be asking. These are the questions every single Christian should be asking. If we love God, we keep His commandments. If we love God, we pursue and vote for those things that are good and morally right. If we love God, we are not swayed by man’s opinion of us, but rather God Almighty’s opinion of us. If we love God, we will always stand on the side of right, while understanding that on this side of heaven there is no perfect candidate or platform. If that’s what you’re waiting for, you’ll be waiting until you get to heaven’s gate, and you’ll never be able to cast a vote.

Every Christian needs to seek his/her heart and ask this question: “Am I following my own set of standards or God’s?” The bottom line here is if we’re followers of Christ and His commandments, then our allegiance should be to Him, and we should stand for what’s right and vote for platforms that reflect Biblical values.

It’s clear the country is divided, but Christians shouldn’t be. We should never fall into the trap of letting our carnal nature blind us to God’s will. We should never let elections sever or sour our relationships with others. We should never lose control of our emotions or our tongues. We’re to rise above that kind of stuff because we’re commanded to live spirit-controlled lives, not allowing our emotions to overtake us. Proverbs 29:11 makes the point, “Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.”

James 1:19-25 states: “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.”

As Christians, we’re to remain calm, be civil, pray and ask God how we are to respond in every situation. Our purpose in life is to love Christ and make that love known to others so they too can love Christ. That’s why we’re here…to serve the Savior and point others to Him. It’s as simple as that, so we shouldn’t make it more complicated or feel vindicated by making excuses for our behavior.

Satan loves to see conflict within families, communities, and churches. He wants to render us                                        ineffective. Let’s not allow Him to get a foothold in our lives. Let’s practice love and be God’s hands and feet wherever we go. Let’s run the good race so when we stand before God He will say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Don’t let Satan steal that from you. Don’t let the enemy dilute or destroy your witness, your relationships or your joy. We all can, with God’s help, rise above our emotions and allow Him to take control of our actions.

As we see the world spinning out of control, we are made aware that our time on earth is short, and we need to seriously be about our Father’s business. We can start by showing God’s love to all and casting our vote at the ballot box this November.

Blessings to You!