I'm not a politically-minded person. I typically stay out of it. I turn off the TV when it comes up; I skip that section of the news. It feels overwhelming and dark to me... so I ignore it. Not really the best way to go about life, right?
I'd definitely feel more comfortable writing a blog post about how to motivate yourself to read your Bible or encourage your friends. But today is election day, and we should all go vote.
I've struggled with the idea of voting for the past few years. I didn't want to make my way to the ballot box without being completely informed. I felt like it would be irresponsible for me to go vote unless I knew everything there is to know about the candidates. And because I find politics overwhelming, I haven't ever voted. If I had to take a guess, many of you, sweet readers, have never voted either. For an election like this one, 75% of people between the ages of 18-29 don't vote. I think it's safe to assume that the 1 out of 4 that do aren't often women. Not necessarily because we're don't enjoy seeing women in politics, but because, I think, many of you are like me – it's overwhelming, and we don't like to ruffle feathers.
This year, I filled out my voter registration but received it too late... and I was actually bummed. While I think being well-informed is incredibly valuable, you shouldn't let it keep you from going. I was recently told about OneVote.com – it's a great place to learn the basics. I'd encourage you to look through the candidates. Learn their names, their backgrounds, what they stand for. If nothing else, learn their stance on a few topics that resonate with who you are as a Christian.
This might be a little uncomfortable, but one of the most important questions to ask about a candidate is whether they are pro-life or not. I know most of you reading this blog are women like myself – this is a topic close to our hearts. And the Bible is pretty clear on what God thinks about abortion. We are all made in the image of God – imago dei (Genesis 1:26-27) – and this gives each of us equal value and dignity. With this biblical understanding, to attack an unborn child (or any “image-bearer” human being) is to attack the very image of the creator God (Genesis 9:6; Exodus 20:13 - “you shall not murder”). The reason we attack and kill can be seen in the birth of sin in Genesis 3... we desire to put ourselves in the place of God. We want to be like Him, to be in charge of our lives. We step into a place where we have no authority. This perspective brings great evil into the world... we begin to use and/or destroy lives to suit our desires.
As the image-bearers of God – as His children – it's important for us to do several things:
- To make His desires our desires. Ask for this daily. Ask Him to take the selfish desires of your heart and swap them with His desires. His way is always good and always true. Ask him to remove the darkness in your heart that wants to have complete control over your life and over the lives of others.
- Pray for our country and our world. Ask Him to soften hearts and to make Himself known. Ask Him to reveal to you ways you can participate in making much of Him. Pray for the women around our world who have walked in abortion, are considering walking in abortion, or are ignorant of abortion. Pray for our government, its leaders, and its future leaders. Pray that the Lord would be present in their hearts and minds, and that He would speak to them and guide their sails. I can't imagine the pressure and weight they carry on their shoulders each day, and we should continually be in prayer that God would be with them.
- Go out and participate. Go vote. If for no other reason, mark the name on the ballot that stands for life. It is an incredible honor and privilege to live in a country where we get to have a say. You may feel like your one check-mark on a list doesn't do very much, but that one checkmark is an opportunity to stand up for what is right and to fight for the oppressed that shouldn't be missed.
The ball is in our court to pray, defend, and cry out for the unborn and oppressed. These fragile image-bearers cannot speak to policies and procedures created by a culture that illogically and devastatingly places human desires on a pedestal... while erasing the value of human life.
Be comforted knowing this battle has been faced and fought before. Remember Herod? The Lord has shone great light into the darkness in the history of His people. Know that He is good and He is for good.
Regardless of who is elected, remember to continue to pray for those in leadership. As children of God, this is our duty and our delight. They are in need of Christ every moment, just like we are. The Scriptures also instruct us to honor and submit to those in authority (Romans 13 is a great passage about this). No matter what happens on the other end of this voting period or even in the timeline of our country, we are always called to care for the poor, show mercy to the weak, and seek justice on behalf of the vulnerable and oppressed. Know and take comfort in the fact that our primary citizenship is not here in America... it is in the Kingdom of God, in His heavenly realm. We have been called to be His people. Let us live as humble and honorable citizens of His kingdom, together.