We are now roughly 24 hours away from what has at least been one of the most publicized elections in our nation’s history. The disagreements on policy between the two major party candidates and their supporters would be hard to overstate. Alongside the convinced supporters, perhaps within the body of Christ especially there are those who are dissatisfied with either candidate and find themselves left wondering what to do.
My goal is not to solve that particular conundrum. This is not a voting guide in the sense of telling you who to vote for. I want to instead talk about how we as Jesus’ people can faithfully spend the coming days and those that follow in light of the impending election. Four suggestions:
No surprises here: The first thing we must do as Jesus’ people is pray. Would you commit to praying at least today and tomorrow for this election? Pray for:
- God to give us a president who rules with justice, who rewards what is truly good and fights what is truly evil (1 Peter 2:14).
- Peace in our country, especially that God would guard us from violence and anger following the results of the election (1 Timothy 2:2).
- God’s strength and wisdom for whoever ends up being entrusted with one of the most difficult jobs in the world.
- The gospel to bring unity to our politically fractured country (Ephesians 2:14-16).
Read, think, and discuss. Deciding who to vote for (or whether you can in good conscience vote for anyone) is a complicated, difficult question that Bible-believing, Jesus-loving Christians will disagree on. We don’t however have the option to punt on the question. The election is going to happen, and if you are a citizen of the U.S., you’ve been entrusted with a measure of authority in the governance of this nation. Elections aren’t a sporting event where we hope our team wins; people who hold political office make decisions that affect our neighbors! If we love our neighbors as Jesus loves us, that has to matter to us.
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” (Ephesians 4:29). When you have an opinion you feel strongly about, it is easy to speak it in order to exalt yourself by shaming others. Your social media accounts are no exception. What if you ran all your conversation surrounding the election through the filter of, “Does this fit the occasion? Is this giving grace to those who hear?” Don’t pretend not to disagree, but do so in a way that communicates humility, the relative priority of politics (it matters—but it’s not ultimate), and the unity Jesus has brought between people even of differing political ideologies.
While there is a lot of disagreement surrounding the election, one thing most people seem to have in common is fear of the possible outcome. In Christ, we’ve been given a secure future hope. This election has given us ample reasons to groan, but we do so “as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.” Eager waiting! That’s what we’ve been given in Christ. Nations will rise and fall (and by all means—let’s pray and vote so that our nation rises!), but we know who is on the throne. Jesus is the one who rose from the dead and is seated “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come” (Ephesians 1:20-21).
Can you eagerly wait even while groaning, whatever the result of this election? If not, your hope is in the wrong place (Romans 8:23).
“Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” – 1 Peter 1:13
“Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe” – Hebrews 12:28