Most of my kids don’t like Peas. Because we have 8 children, we serve most of our meals at our house buffet style, off the stovetop and counter. It’s just easier! When there is a pot of peas on the stove, most of my kids will definitely pass them by without a second thought…unless we make them at least eat a spoonful. Even now that 6 of them are either married and on their own or in college, the peas will be passed over.
As we approach this election, I thought long and hard about how I could best communicate what I think is every citizen’s responsibility, but especially as a Christian. The question isn’t so much “how should one vote?” but a better question is “how should we go about voting?”
Make no mistake, you and I are blessed to be able to be a part of choosing our leaders. And we should definitely vote. Not voting is a huge mistake and also an affront to those who have gone before us to fight for our freedoms. In 2016, 54 million Christians decided NOT to vote. Do you think that could make a significant impact on an election? Absolutely! So…VOTE! But before you do, “don’t pass the peas.”
You might be asking the question about now, “What in the world does this have to do with eating or not eating peas?!”
Well it isn’t about eating peas, but it’s about not passing them over. Specifically, it’s about not passing by these five P’s before you vote. (see what I did there!)
As I thought about it there are five P’s that as a Christian, or any citizen, we should consider as we consider our vote.
Pray…This should be a given, but sadly it isn’t. We have scheduled Prayer Gatherings at our church for the 3 Mondays leading up to the election to pray specifically for the election and our nation. On the first night, besides myself, 4 people came. Now I know that God is with us even in small gatherings and He hears our prayers and we can pray anywhere. Certainly all of that is true. However, it is disappointing when the Church won’t gather for prayer. It just is.
Psalm 20:7 says, “Some trust in chariots and some trust in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”
Do we? Listen, God isn’t worried if we are going to get it right in this or any election. He is sovereign over all of that. However, we need to seek Him in prayer and align our hearts with His heart and His word and seek His will. Prayer matters. Pray individually, but pray with other believers too…even if they may not agree with you. Don’t pray that God will give your candidates victory, pray that His will be done and that He will reveal His will to you and His church. Pray for TRUTH to be revealed and valued in our society. Pray for repentance of sin for our nation. Pray for revival in the church and spiritual awakening among those outside of the church. Pray for unity. Pray for the leaders and candidates. Pray for wisdom from God for them. Prayer matters. So don’t pass by PRAYER.
Perspective/Prepare/Plan…Okay so that’s three, but it’s really a three-in-one kind of point here. Kind of like separate peas in one pod. (see what I did there again!)
Try to gain some perspective and wisdom and understanding. Prepare by seeking to really understand what a candidate stands for and what agenda they (or those around them) actually have. Don’t just listen to campaign ads and rhetoric. And maybe just get off social media for a while! Really dig into what they stand for. Don’t just vote for a person who has a D, R, L or whatever letter by their name. Don’t just vote against soemone just because you don’t like them or their personality. Vote FOR a policy/platform. Plan how and why you are going to vote. When there is an amendment or referendum, research it. Ask about it. Don’t just go blindly into a voting booth and try to figure it out. Talk to people who do know. Look for unbiased information…or listen to both sides and then decide. Actually READ the Constitution and the actual words of the founding fathers, not just what you may be told by the media about them. Yeah that takes some preparation and planning. Good! We should do that! Have a full perspective before you vote. We should seek wisdom from the One who IS Wisdom and Who gives wisdom.
21 Maintain sound wisdom and discretion. My son, don’t lose sight of them. 22 They will be life for you and adornment for your neck. 23 Then you will go safely on your way; your foot will not stumble. (Proverbs 3:21-23)
5 Get wisdom, get understanding; don’t forget or turn away from the words from my mouth. 6 Don’t abandon wisdom, and she will watch over you; love her, and she will guard you. (Proverbs 4:5-6)
Don’t pass over preparing, planning, and perspective. Which goes hand-in-hand with the next one…
Policies & Platform over Personalities…again these are several P’s tied together as well as linked to the previous one. As you seek wisdom and understanding, look at the POLICIES and PLATFORM you are voting for and not so much the PERSONALITY of the candidate. Sure character and integrity matter. BUT…What are they standing on? Do you agree with all of their or their party’s policies and platforms from the perspective of God’s word? Can you say God would be pleased with your agreement with those things? You are really voting for a platform rather than a personality.
Listen, I have seen candidates that I liked their personality and character, but I wouldn’t vote for them because of the policies they endorse. They might be kind, generous people. They may be good family men/women, but the platform they stand on doesn’t align with God’s word nor does it align with the Founders and the Constitution as written. I have also voted for some who have character flaws…don’t we all?! (Jesus said something about who should be casting stones…just a thought there)…but I voted for the policies and the platforms they stood for. I voted for the appointments they would make that would live well beyond their time in office.
Don’t get caught up in a personality just because they are full of charisma or because they aren’t. Don’t get caught up in popularity or trendy choices (we all remember how that worked out in high school!). Don’t get caught up in someone who isn’t a perfect Christian. Don’t get caught up in a smooth talking, likable personality. Don’t get caught up in those who tell you what they think you want to hear. You aren’t electing a personality or a “pastor-in-chief,” you are electing a leader. Leaders are going to make mistakes. They are human. Leaders are not always the “feel-good” types. Sometimes they are abrasive. Sometimes they make unpopular decisions. But they are given a job to do and that’s to LEAD…no matter if it’s a coach of a team, a manager or owner of a business, a pastor of a church, a teacher in a classroom, a Governor, a Senator/Representative, or a President of a nation.
Pray for them personally…for their salvation first, for wisdom and protection for them. Pray that they would have a fear of the Lord and not a fear of man. Pray for them to have godly people around them to advise them. Understand that what you are really voting for is the policies and platforms that candidate represents. Whether it is state, local or national. Are they going to represent you…WE the people…or are they going to pursue their own agenda and their own well-being first? What is the agenda of the platform you are voting for?
Faith & Freedom Coalition has some excellent Voter’s Guides HERE. They don’t tellyou who to vote for but they give you where candidates stand on policy and platform.
For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. (James 3:16)
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his instructionshave good insight. (Psalm 111:10)
Policies and platforms matter over personality. Don’t pass over these P’s.
Promises…all candidates make them…a lot of candidates don’t keep them once they are elected. It is just a sad reality. Try to weed through the false promises. Look at the track record of the candidate, the party, the people around the candidate. Have they actually done what they said they were going to do? Were the promises made representative of your values as a Christian? Do their promises line up with God’s word and the original founding of our nation? The Founders weren’t perfect men and may have had short-comings, but they sought to deliver on the promises made when this nation was founded. It was in the Constitution and the Declaration. Have our leaders been perfect in their promises over the years? Not always. But we need to not be “duped” by promises of candy and ice cream, when what we need is balanced nutrition. As a parent, you don’t just promise your kids fun things and “stuff” all the time (at least I hope you don’t). What you promise them is that you will try to always do what is best and loving and protecting of them in order to prepare them for a better future. You want to lay a good foundation so they will be able to stand firm many years later and pass that on to the next generation. Good leaders promise what they believe to be best for those they serve. Then they seek to deliver on those promises. They don’t say after many years in office or in leadership, “I know it’s been decades, but if you give me another shot, I’m going to deliver on those promises.” Where in life does that actually work except in politics? If you are a coach or a ball player and you don’t deliver, what happens? You lose your job or get benched. If you are a manger and can’t sell or keep employees, you get fired. If you are a teacher and all your students fail year after year, you won’t be teaching any longer.
So listen with a discerning ear to the promises made and look at the track record of the person and the party. BUT…know that only God is perfect in His promises. Know that the Lord is the only one you can fully trust. Don’t depend on and trust in the promises of man, but rest in the promises of God in His word! If you are looking to people to solve the problems in your life and in this world, you are looking in the wrong place. So, circle back to the Source of all promises and seek His will. Trust in His promises alone. If you are depending on HUMAN leaders to fulfill your needs, you will always be disappointed. Rest in the promises of the Lord. Trust in His Word and the promises He has made, regardless of the promises of people. Humans will always let other humans down. GOD will not! He is the Promise Keeper! Once again…
Psalm 20:7 says, “Some trust in chariots and some trust in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
For every one of God’s promises is “Yes” in him [Jesus]. Therefore, through him we also say “Amen” to the glory of God. (2 Corinthians 1:20)
I lift my eyes toward the mountains. Where will my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1)
Don’t pass over the promises made by leaders, but don’t pass over the promises of God for the promises of man. Don’t skip the peas to get to the ice cream!
Finally, the last P is the same as the first…
Pray…again and again and again. Pray for our human leaders (who are in place because God allows them), even if you don’t agree with them. Pray for the Church. Pray for our nation and the world. Pray for your family. Pray for your neighbors. Pray for revival and spiritual awakening. Pray with grateful hearts and thanksgiving that you live in this land and in this time. Pray for wisdom. Pray for protection. Pray for God to sustain you and His church in suffering.
pray without ceasing, (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6)
Don’t pass over the P’s as you participate in this and any other election process. The P’s matter!