We are in full election mode. The information dump is happening all around us. It’s difficult to find a space where you can retreat from the inundation of candidate promotion and policy declarations. Don’t get me wrong. I believe we need to be informed, but I am not a big fan of being told the same information over-and-over-and-over again.
As followers of Christ, I believe we need to exercise our right to vote, making Christ’s voice heard. I do not deny that there is a nuance to voting, even among Christians. However, I do believe that some issues are politicized but are actually spiritual at its core.
Now, I would guess that you are ready for me to tell you who to vote for or how to vote. I am going to do neither. What I am going to do is describe how to decide who to vote for and how to vote.
I have always been fond of Psalm 119:105: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psa 119:105). In ancient Israel, the common style of lamp was a small bowl with a pitched lip that was used to support a wick. It could be used to guide one’s next step. It’s used here as a metaphor for God’s guidance through His Word, the Bible. God, through Scripture, guides the believer in making the right step down the right path. Those who study and apply the Word of God are given the guidance necessary to walk rightly. Therefore, not only does the Word of God inform us of His will, but, like light, shows us how to follow the right and avoid the wrong way. What does this have to do with voting? Everything! Stick with me a moment.
I do not know if I can genuinely say that I am a man of one book. Rather, I am a man of the Book, which serves as a filter of every other book, actually everything else in life. Obviously, this also includes voting. When I vote, I take the platform of a party, candidate, a policy, and allow the Word of God to serve as a filter to see if it or they honor the Lord. Some of what is said and written will allow for a variation between how one believer votes and another. But, I believe, much is laid plain when you allow God’s Word to guide you. This process takes us beyond a personality contest or preference issue to the core of who or what glorifies God, will bless us, and allow others to have the opportunity to flourish.
Allowing the Word of God to serve as our guide empowers us to avoid the trap of being swept up in the prevailing current, being washed down the wrong stream. No, we are granted the strength to go against the current and go and lead the right way, God’s way. God, through His Word, does this for us.
I have a challenge for all believers. This election season vote informed. Allow the information you have to pass through the filter of God’s Word. Take the time to study the Bible for yourself and determine what it actually says, rather than merely letting others tell you what it says and means. This does not mean that we don’t allow the church’s historical voice to assist in our study. It does mean that we use proper hermeneutics (methods used to rightly study the Bible) to study and therefore apply Scripture through our lives.
I believe every election is important. Don’t miss out on this one. Decide to vote and decide now to go a little deeper and let the Word of God be a “lamp unto your feet.” This is how to determine who to vote for and how to vote.
Don’t let the election season drive you crazy. Take advantage of your right to vote. Vote in a way that honors God. Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God Alone)!