Voting and the Perfect Candidate
I knew as soon as I clicked “Post” that I was going to regret it. And I did.
I posted something political.
What is it about politics in America that brings out the worst in us? Wait. Forget I asked that question. I really don’t want to get a discussion about politics started here too!
(Don’t go looking on my social media to get the scoop. 😉 That’s what the delete button is for.)
In the end, however, something good came out of that post which is actually what I want to share with you. Because of the nature of the article I re-posted and the conflict that ensued, I realized something about myself. Even though I have only the barest shred of hope in the political system for any change in America, I’m still responsible as a Christian to stay engaged.
Maybe that’s been true for you and obvious for you, but I confess that I’ve kind of checked out. Because I KNOW that true change in humanity only comes through Jesus from the inside out, I had given up on politics. For the first time ever, I even considered not participating at all since I’m fed up with the whole process (and the election isn’t even in sight. Weary sigh.).
But after processing the whole social media kerfluffle last week, God really convicted my heart. I know what my assignment is when it’s all said and done. I can’t just check out when I don’t like the direction things are taking; I have to pray.
And I am. Every day.
So my first call to action is to ask you to join me. Will you pray every day through the election with me? Would you pray for God’s hand in the mess? Would you pray that His will would be done in our American election?
Here’s my second challenge and call to action. Will you search scripture with me?
Even though we know there will never be a perfect candidate, we can know for certain that God has lots of things to say about what we look for in a candidate. Ideally, our candidate should be god-fearing and godly, but what if we don’t have that choice? He or she may not even hold the same beliefs as we do, but there are some characteristics of leaders that should be non-negotiable.
They should be wise.
Psalm 2:10 (and all of the book of Proverbs!), “Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth.”
They should have self-control.
Proverbs 25: 28, “Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.”
Since they are created in God’s image whether they follow Him or not, they should display many of the fruits of the Spirit. These are the characteristics God values.
Galatians 2:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
Their words should be temperate. Words reveal our true hearts.
Matthew 15:18, “ But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them.”
Note: The scriptures today are linked to BibleGateway which is a great place to do word searches and other Bible study. If you aren’t sure how or where to start searching scripture, BibleGateway is a great place!
This is just a short list of examples, but you can see what I mean. As Christians, we must pray and search scripture for how to vote. If that sounds preachy, I’m sorry. I’m preaching to myself too!
Now… here’s where it gets tricky. I want to invite you to comment about what you see in scripture that needs to inform our voting, BUT here are the ground rules for comments.
- No names of candidates or parties can be included. I will unashamedly delete these.
- All rants, accusations or otherwise disrespectful and derogatory comments will be unashamedly deleted, and since this is my blog, I get to judge. 🙂
- No snarky comments about my obviously terrible attitude about American government are allowed. I know. And God is working on me. Again… delete.
Besides those three things… Go! I can’t wait to hear what you have to say, and I actually love healthy, respectful disagreement/debate.
The free download of the Leader’s Guide for Breaking Up with Perfect is only available through Feb. 6. Week 4 of Teaching Tips for Teachers is below, and the remainder will be embedded in the guide once it’s available for sale. Thanks to all of you who are teaching small groups, and I hope the guide has been a blessing!
Congratulations to Tracey Casciano (1.29.16 3:06 pm) who is the winner of last week’s giveaway! Tracey, I hope you enjoy a little celebration of the power of imperfection.
I believe that a good candidate should speak the truth, and not be given to exaggeration. I think they should run for office because they feel they can make a difference, and not because it’s just another step up their ladder of success. If you are a candidate, it must be because you have a plan to uphold our Constitution and the life, liberty, and freedoms it represents. So state your plan, and let the citizens decide if you are the best person for the job.
Remember: All of the debates and town hall meetings are job interviews.
Boy did I need that! I’ve been frustrated with the system and it’s very tempting to check out and ignore the whole thing. Thank you for allowing the Lord to use you to convict me with your gentle reminder of what we can and need to do. Already just reading the verses that you listed have helped me put things into perspective. I’m adding my prayers to yours and will be on the lookout for more verses.
Thanks for the encouragement to pray for our political leaders.
Let’s not forget one of our most faithful and Christian presidents, who was also among the worst for our country. Not because God makes mistakes, but because loving The Lord does not make you a qualified president.
I love that you are speaking truth and letting God’s Word be the filter for our voting decison! When these attributes are so clearly listed like this, it really makes me stop and evaluate the candidates through this lens. While no candidate encompasses all of them, there are clearly some who come closer than others. Thanks for this thought-provoking way of examining the election! I am off to search for a prayer guide to help me pray through the elections. I NEED to do this. Thanks for the conviction!
Great idea to look for a prayer guide. Please share!
Amy you have inspired me to be ore aggressive in my prayer for our new leadership.
A scripture that came to mind was 1Tim 3:1-7 I know this is regarding a leader of a church but I wonder if tis translates to all authority.
If anyone wants to serve in the church (their country), good! But there are preconditions .A leader must be well thought of, committed to his wife, cool collected, accessible and hospitable.He must know what he is talking about, not over fond of wine, not pushy but gentle, not thin skinned or money hungry, he must handle money affairs well, attentive to his own children and having their respect. If someone cant handle his own affairs, how can he take care of God’s church(Gods country).He must not be a new believer lest the position go to his head ad the devil trips him up. Outsiders must think well of him, or the devil will figure out a way to lure him into a trap. 1Tim 3: 1-7 The Message
I think it’s a great list of virtues for a leaders! One more I thought of this afternoon is someone who keeps his/her word. Let your yes be yes!!
Thank you for offering a platform that is God focused…not politically driven or media influenced…this will be the hardest voting choice I’ve ever faced in 40 years of voting – 10 presidential elections. I appreciate your courage in doing this…we need to seek the right way to go about this as Christians & Americans.
Praise & blessing upon you & all who participate.
Thanks, Trish! One of my friends really challenged me after I posted an article embedded with the possibility of not voting. I’ve never seen that as an option, and I’m not going to start now. Praying for someone I’m HAPPY to vote for!
Amy, thanks! I have often struggled with how to begin to make the decision on who to vote for especially when there seems to be no evidence of them being a believer. This gives me a great perspective and I am also reminded that God did a lot of His work through unbelievers. He is God, the Creator of all things and he has a purpose and can accomplish that purpose through believers and non-believers if He so chooses. And yes, I too have fallen short of being the prayerful person I should be for our country and our leader no matter if I agree with him or not.
Another great point. It’s scriptural to pray for our leaders, but our country has gotten so divided that I wonder how many Christians really pray for someone they didn’t vote for. Great challenge for us, Gwen!
For by wise guidance you will wage war, And in abundance of counselors there is victory. (NASB)
It’s better to be wise than strong;
intelligence outranks muscle any day.
Strategic planning is the key to warfare;
to win, you need a lot of good counsel. (The Message)
Good ones, Nancy!! Thanks for sharing.
Couldn’t agree more. I too, have found myself throwing my hands up in the air in frustration, but I was reminded last week in my small group, that God sees and knows everything. Yes, I already know that’s an obvious statement, but sometimes we need a reminder – actually an everyday reminder, and so I will pray everyday for the above requests and also that we will find peace in knowing that regardless of the outcome God works everything for good!
Thanks for joining me in prayer, Lisa!
Amy, I’m with you. Same mistakes, same sentiments and conclusions. If I ever needed a reminder my hope is not in humans, this election season has provided it. Sometimes I whine and complain, and sometimes I stop and pray fervently and remember God is greater than politics. Bless you for reminding us to pray!
It’s a pleasure to pray alongside you, friend!
Hi Amy, I really identified with your post today as I have been feeling the same way. I agree that we need to let go of apathetic attitudes when it comes to voting and I accept your invitation to search Scripture and pray through the election. Thank you.
Thanks for praying with me, Monica. I believe our prayers will make a difference!