Ok, I’ll be honest. Politics is typically something that I try to steer clear of on my blog. Nonetheless, with the election being such a huge topic right now and the recent debates, I feel that it is a fitting topic to blog about. Especially considering that some of you reading this may be old enough to vote in the next election.
I’m not going to tell you who to vote for, or take a political “side”. We all have the opportunity to choose our own preferred candidate and vote accordingly, that’s one of the beauties of living in America. This post is going to focus on engaging in this election humbly and looking at it through the eyes of Christ, with both wisdom and grace. Thus, I’ve come up with four tips for navigating the election season.
- Respect those with opposing viewpoints-This is really, really, important. Because this is often a significant and deeply personal matter to people, it can sometimes turn into a very heated discussion topic. Nonetheless, people often have good reasons for believing what they do on both sides. I know people who lean more right-wing in good conscience and people who lean more left-wing in good conscience. James 1:19-20 says “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.” Rather than being quick to jump in with our own arguments, it would be helpful to try to understand why others believe as they do and understand the deeper motives behind those beliefs. Even if we still end up disagreeing, we can do so respectfully.
- Turn to the Bible for answers-As Christians, we believe that the Bible contains ultimate truth. Thus, whatever stance one party or another takes ought to be looked at in the light of God’s word. Because both parties are products of man, it’s highly probable that there are flaws in both ideologies. Rather than blindly accepting all of the ideologies of one party, I challenge you to look at each issue through the lens of faith.
- Remember how these issues affect others-A common theme that I find throughout the Bible is love and compassion. One of the most important things that we can do as Christians is to love others. Mark 12:30-31 says “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”” Thus, we ought to ask ourselves how issues of legislation affect other people, particularly the vulnerable and hurting. The people affected are more than just pawns in power wars, they’re real people just like me and you.
- Take the time to research the candidates-Bandwagon mentality can be common during election season. It’s easy to hear tidbits of information about the candidates without knowing their full platform or stance on the issues. Just because someone is affiliated with the political party that lean towards, doesn’t mean that they’ll share your views on everything, or even most things. Take the time to research the candidates you like to make sure that they’re honest, godly, and kind people. Granted, we’re all fallen, but it’s important to vote for the candidate who you feel is the most ethical.
In addition to my tips, I found two articles from RELEVENT magazine that I feel give really great advice. Feel free to check them out!
Whoever you decide to vote for, remember to navigate this year with 1 Peter 2:17 in mind. “Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.“*
*Emperor, the authority of the day, would be the equivalent of the president and those in authority.