By Pastor Stephen A. Curry
This is an election year. Tuesday was the primary here in Texas but there are several other election days ahead of us before the end of the year. This year, as in previous election cycles, various interests appeal to religious motivations as a reason to vote for a particular candidate or issue. Some interests go so far as to suggest a vote for or against a particular candidate or issue is a vote for or against God Himself. But often these appeals oversimplify complex issues. Very few political decisions are about right or wrong. With rare exception, political decisions give one person a benefit at the expense of another person.
1 Kings 3 tells us that when Solomon ascended to the throne of Israel, God came to him in a dream and said “Ask what I should give you.” Solomon could have asked for fame, riches, the elimination of his enemies, or all sorts of things that would give him benefits at the expense of others. Instead, Solomon asked God for wisdom in leading God’s people.
It is perfectly appropriate for us to pray about our vote. But first, we should pray for wisdom. We should ask God for a discerning mind that seeks first His will in all things. We should ask God to grant us understanding so that we may fully appreciate the complexities of the decisions placed before us. We should ask God to help us find the balance between mercy and justice. We should ask God to help us find solutions that bring those who benefit and those who bear the cost closer together rather than creating division and discord. We should ask God to set aside our own pride, our own interests, so that His Kingdom may be forwarded within our community, state, nation, and across the globe.
At the end of the election cycle, we will have put in place the candidates “We the People” selected from among ourselves to exercise authority for a period of time. And, whether the candidate we supported won or lost, it was the choice “We the People” made. In our system of government, officials do not elect themselves. As Paul reminds us in Romans 13, we are to be good citizens. Pray for our elected officials that they may govern with wisdom and that their decisions help bring peace, love, and justice to all.