I was trapped in the dentist chair. Fortunately there was a tv directly in front of me. Unfortunately, it was a bombardment of smear campaign ads. Each politician smearing their opponent, painting themselves to be the good guy and their opponent, the devil. I was overcome with disgust at the barrage of emotional plays that were being made. It wasn't facts. It was just angles portrayed in certain lights. Things taken out of context.
But it works a lot of the time.
I find it interesting that there is still such a dominant message in this day of age that encourages us to follow our hearts. To listen to our hearts and go with whatever we FEEL. Ads like these are trying to make us feel a certain way and encourage us to act on those feelings, but, so often, our hearts can be deceived.
The idea of doing what feels good = doing the right thing is often a very wrong idea.
This can play out in many ways in our lives.
with justifying sin.
Well, it's okay, they really love each other, it doesn't matter if they're not married.
Indulging in overeating after a long, hard day.
Giving into temptation or into addictions.
Letting what feels good dictate your actions, instead of doing the thing you know to be right.
Sometimes the temptation is to "listen to our hearts" and be swayed by emotion when it comes to voting. We listen to the smear campaigns. We get fired up by what's being said and we go with those emotional impulses. OR worse...
We don't vote at all. We listen to our hearts that say, We just don't feel like it. We're too tired to vote. We have too many kids to contend with. Our job consumed our whole day and we didn't have a chance to vote. We just plumb forgot. We don't care or even, heaven forbid, take for granted the right to vote. And does it really even matter. Does my vote even make a difference? And if God's in control then it doesn't really matter whether I vote or not, right? I don't need to play a part.
And here's where I get really tempted when it's voting season. I don't like either or any of the candidates. So what's the point, right? I don't like either one, so who cares....
What does the Bible say though?
Romans 13: 1"Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God."
1 Peter 2:12-17 "Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor."
1 Timothy 2:1-3 "First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior,"
Romans 13:7 "Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed."
Ephesians 6:12 "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places."
Here's an idea on preparing to vote.
1.) Pray. Ask God for discernment and wisdom as your research.
2.) Research. Figure out the facts behind each candidate and each issue that needs voting on.
3.) Pray again. Ask God to show you what the real agendas are and who you're really voting for.
5.) Be at peace. Ultimately this is in the Lord's hands. You've done your part. Trust Him with the outcome regardless of whether or not you got your way or the candidate you wanted won or not.
6.) Be faithful to pray for the elected leaders. How quickly we vote and then dismiss whatever the outcome. Continue to pray for the leaders that are instituted. Ask God to direct them and give them wisdom. He is faithful.
I'm writing, not out of forcing or pushing a political agenda but with the hope that you will take action and vote and that you will think and pray and research before you do. It is my hope that we use what we've been given, our right to vote, to good effect. Happy Voting Tuesday, November 5th!