This upcoming election has me thinking about lots of things. I have never before researched candidates and what they stand for. The first election I voted in was Bush/Kerry 2004. I voted for Bush only because it was a vote against Kerry. I knew nothing of either candidate's platform or what their opinions were of social issues. I was in church last Sunday when my brilliant pastor began describing the apathy of today's voters. Just recently I have been heavily researching John McCain and Barack Obama's policies and issues. This is not the place for me to get into who I will be voting for. I would love to talk to you privately about that, but I have my mind made up. How, then, did I make up my mind? I turned to the Bible. There are four things to do when voting.
1. Vote intellectually, knowledgably, and with wisdom. Know the candidates. Put aside your party affiliations and really take a look at the issues that are of the most importance in this election. Is McCain's temper going to affect his chances of going to the oval office? Will Obama's lack of experience prevent him acceptance? Don't just get out there and vote for Obama because he looks better in HD. Get to know his relationship with William Ayers, his stance on abortion and his healthcare plan. Don't vote for McCain just because he has plenty of experience in Washington D.C. or because he is a military hero. Vote for the best candidate, and not the best looking candidate. The same happened in 1960 with Kennedy and Nixon. Kennedy attracted the undecided voters because he looked better on television, while Nixon looked haggard and was sporting a five o-clock shadow. Proverbs 10:14 says, "Wise men store up knowledge." Become knowledgeable in the two candidates. Believe me, these two candidates are extremely different in what they believe. Those who are undecided may not have done enough research on each candidate to form a valid opinion. Get out there and research McCain and Obama.
2. Vote unselfishly. Philippians 2: 3-4 says "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others." John F. Kennedy said "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." Let's get back to that mindset. Stop saying to McCain "I will vote for you, but first you must do something for me." Don't ask Obama how he can help you. This election is not about you but for this country. We are blessed in the fact that we get the chance to elect our own leader. How many countries get this chance?
3. Vote morally and spiritually. Matthew 6: 33 says to "seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." We need to seek God first and honor Him. If we do this and put our faith in Him, then He will fix the economy, energy crisis, etc. Get right with God. Proverbs 14: 34 says that "righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people." There are some issues that should be of more importance. The Catholic church has a really great commercial out right now that says "some issues are more important than others" and has a picture of a beautiful, innocent child next to a pump displaying the high price of gas. The value of life should be more important than the major issues both candidates are talking about. What is really important? To Christians it should be justice, the poor, morals and not money or the economy. It should be the spiritual characteristics of each candidate and how they truly feel.
4. Finally, vote prayerfully. If you are worried about this election then turn your worries into prayer. Philippians 4: 6-7 says "do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." We know God will take care of this great nation, if we ask Him to. Billy Graham once said that in order for a nation to get on its feet we first need to get on our knees.
Just know that whoever gets into the oval office, it is God who is ultimately in charge. He is still in control and never comes up for reelection every four years. I may never stand in front of a president, but I will one day stand before God.