Above is the link to an article I wrote for Saved.ph about the coming elections. I’ve shared it on my Facebook and Twitter accounts and realized that I haven’t put it up on my blog. Since it’s only about a day away ’til elections, I see it fit to be shared again. Click if you’d like to read it on Saved.ph website or read on below.
The 2016 National Elections is fast approaching. By now, various campaign efforts through different media have become part of our daily lives – political ads during commercial breaks, candidates’ faces and names on public walls, campaign jingles blasting here and there. We even get to see and read things about these candidates from our own Facebook newsfeed and Twitter timelines.
With all we read and hear about the candidates – from highest praises to harsh criticisms – varying opinions confuse us and cloud our judgment on who we should vote for. As responsible citizens, we can’t just opt to pass up on practicing our freedom and right to choose our country’s leaders. As accountable Christians, it’s our duty to take part in helping to improve our nation.
So for the voting Christian, here are some tips and reminders for the coming elections:
#1 Verify everything you read and hear about the candidates
In today’s Internet age, information about public figures is not that hard to find. Bits and pieces about candidates are widespread throughout the web. Know how to differentiate factual claims over ones that are fabricated and untrue. Check if the source of the claim is credible and trustworthy. Remember, integrity in small scale echoes integrity in bigger responsibilities.
#2 Research on their track record
Similar with the first tip, this one deals with what actually came from the candidate’s mouth. If the candidate promises of enforcing a certain project or act, check their record in the previous terms they serve in office in the same position or a different one. There are promises that can be made and promises that are made to be broken. We can’t hang on to every word a candidate and their supporters say. We need to think critically. The future of our country is impacted by our choices.
#3 Don’t be ignorant followers
We can get swayed by the tantalizing promises. We all want something to happen to our country. We all want change. Sometimes we let our fears and desire for instant solutions paralyze our decision making. We tend to cling to candidates’ words that we just end up going with the flow. It’s not bad to hear the opinions of others. However, let’s not vote for someone just because your family, your peers, friends, and church leaders say so. God equipped us with individual minds. Let’s not waste what God had given us. He made us intelligent beings. Take up your God-given responsibility and think critically.
#4 Choose someone who upholds the principles you believe
As Christians, we want to support someone who embodies what Jesus taught in his sermons – to love others, whether they’re enemies or friends. We preach that lives are valuable, that Jesus’ death and resurrection is for the salvation of life for anyone who believes. God put a high price on everyone’s life. We ought to respect and value lives the way He does. Let’s scrutinize what the candidates actually say. Do they respect the lives of others? Do they have high regard to the value of life? God allows reform and we should too. If a candidate has views on things that violate your biblical principles, it’s good to think about the pros and cons of supporting this candidate. Think and weigh out options.
#5 Remember that no government leader is a “one for all” solution to our nation’s problems
No candidate is a one-hit solution. No human is perfect. To heal our country takes the whole population to work together and pray together. We’ll never have a messianic president or leader in the country. We already have the Messiah who can calm our fears – Jesus.
Ptr. Daniel Fusco of Crossroads Community Church, in an article he wrote about the upcoming US elections, said that every candidate promises to “solve” our issues. They target our deepest desires and longings. However, we should keep in mind that no president, no politician can satisfy all our needs. We shouldn’t expect them to.
Let’s not put all the burden on our aspiring leaders. Let’s put more of the burden on ourselves. Leaders can only do so much. We can do more if we unite and do our part in healing our country. Take responsibility. The country is not just defined by the leader; it’s defined by its people.
#6 Choose to support someone who is repentant.
Choose someone who knows when he or she has committed wrong yet not hesitant to admit it and humble enough to extend apologies. A leader who embodies humility is a leader who will prioritize the needs of others above their selfish ambitions. Having the ability and sincerity to admit wrongdoing is a sign of humility. It shows that the leader acknowledges the value of their position – someone who was deemed trustworthy by a great number of people. Owning up to mistakes is showing respect to the decision a majority of people made him or her be a leader.
God uses unexpected people to fulfill His will and purpose. Despite our judgment and preconceived notions on each of the candidates, God will put into office who He sees fit for the fulfillment of His will. Even in biblical times, God used a motley mix of people to make His will known. A number of well-known faithful servants of God came from unpleasant pasts — Jacob lied, Moses killed, David had an affair, and Paul persecuted and killed Jesus’ followers.
It doesn’t mean that we should overlook their past mistakes. However, we should remember that God is always moving. He will speak and reveal Himself through whichever situation. It’s our duty to listen to God. That’s why it’s important for us to listen and pray, drown out the noise of our own judgments and criticisms.
Pray for leaders who will have the heart of honoring God and the wisdom to lead a nation. Compassion and love will drive for change – the desire for better opportunities and improved lives for everyone in the country regardless of socioeconomic status
Pray that He will be glorified. Through whoever’s leadership we may be put under, we will rejoice.
And last but not the least…
#8 Vote with hope
Our country has so many ills that sometimes we lose sight of hope. We sometimes feel like we are beyond redemption. Take heart. God is still the same from the beginning of time to the end. Vote with a hope–not on empty promises from eloquent platform deliveries that beguiles innocence. Hope comes from the assurance of God’s promises that never fails, His promises that we can trust and know through prayer. It’s our duty to exercise our God-given authority through prayer and action.
Whatever the results of the elections may be, we should always remember that God is sovereign.