As I finalize this piece, it is election day. I think it’s important to share that this was written before we had any idea of the outcome. On election day, I left my house before sunrise to be at the polling center when they opened. Promptly at 6:00 a.m. an older gentleman opened the doors and announced to all of us waiting outside, “The polls are open!” I was caught off guard by the flood of emotions that suddenly surged through my heart. Those of us that were born in this country didn’t choose to be here. Yet, somehow, we find ourselves in this great position of privilege, the opportunity to exercise a right bestowed upon us from our government—the right to elect those that will sit in positions of power. It would benefit us all to remember, God is the one who determined where we were born. God is the one who determined this would be our earthly nation. As with everything God gives us, we must steward it well and seek His best.
Now don’t worry, I am not about to declare which party is “God’s party” and what platform He cares about most. But, as we wait to hear who has been chosen, what does it mean to walk this path well and steward the opportunities and responsibilities this earthly nation provides?
First, we must remember where our first loyalty lies and whose we are. Whether your party of choice wins or loses, you are still a child of God before you are anything else—before you are an American, a wife or husband, a mother or father, a son or daughter, an employer or employee—you were bought for a price that none of us are worthy of. Remembering this should help us to approach the aftermath of this election with a sober mind. There was never a perfect option, and so now, there is not a perfect plan. It does us good to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly.
Second, no matter where we land in the political playing field, or how strongly we feel about an issue, let us remember, “… as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” (Colossians 3:12-14) As we treat each other with respect and dignity we should also, “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” (Colossians 4:5-6)
Third, casting our vote is the first step in a journey toward the country we seek to live in, but it is not the only or final step. So, whether the candidates we voted for were elected or not, we get to do more! Whether it’s through your church, your PTA, the school board, a local crisis pregnancy center, a non-profit caring for victims of human trafficking, a racial reconciliation ministry, we get to find the place to serve and make a difference. So much more of politics is on the local level, and yet, we often miss that—I know I have.
My hope and prayer for you and me, and the rest of our country, is that we would allow this wild and unpredictable year to propel us toward doing the most good with the utmost of love in our hearts. Our advocacy and efforts don’t stop at the voting booth. Our pursuit of the things we believe God has placed on our hearts should continue well past any election. So be encouraged, no matter where your vote landed, God has given you what you need to pursue His good, in His world.