by: Rich Vaughan
This coming Thursday, October 15th, the process of “early voting” begins. You may have already mailed in a ballot but if not, the election process begins this week that will end on November 3rd with election day. NOW RELAX! This devotion is not going to take a political stand, it’s not going to tell you who to vote for, but it is going to raise an interesting question and issue.
Years ago, during a different Presidential election year, I read a devotional in which William Safire posed a very interesting question while writing a pre-election column. “WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN THE CANDIDATE YOU SUPPORT TAKES A POSITION YOU DON’T LIKE, (OR WHEN) THE CANDIDATE YOU OPPOSE TAKES A STAND THAT YOU ADMIRE?”
Safire offered three options:
- Switch candidates
- Stay with your original choice and put on a button that says, “nobody’s perfect.”
- Be like the proverbial old woman who says, “I never vote. It only encourages them.”
Number 3 made me laugh and unfortunately there is some truth and wisdom in her statement! But let’s approach this “issue” from “Jesus’ side”. What do we do when Jesus makes a statement, or offers a teaching or parable that we do not like? One that we don’t agree with? Seriously, turn the other check? Pray for those who persecute you? That is not my human nature and I doubt it is yours either. We would prefer to retaliate and to heave curses not prayers! The truth is, some will leave Jesus and follow him no longer (John 6:66 – interesting number sequence, isn’t it?). But that isn’t an option for us who believe Jesus to be the Messiah, the Son of God. We certainly cannot wear a button that says “no one’s perfect”! That doesn’t exactly fit Jesus does it? And, if we “wish he had not said that” or disagree with his stance – guess who is wrong! We can’t even “not vote’. We are not given that choice. We either follow Jesus or we don’t. And when we follow Him we have to accept his entire “platform”. That includes loving your enemies and forgiving someone who has hurt you (7X70), and all the other parables and teachings Jesus shared that challenge us if we decide we want to “pick up our cross” and follow Him.
Election Day is coming and you will have to make a political choice (even not voting is, in a sense, a political choice). But an even more important decision for all of us is the fact that we must make a choice about where Jesus is in our life right now. Either we are going to follow Jesus or not. Either we are going to be disciples and be the living church or not. Either we are going to believe that no matter which political party wins the White House or seats in Congress, the Lord is still in charge. And, we are going to have to decide that even in the midst of COVID, unrest, political rancor and disharmony, do we still believe that Jesus is ruler of all? I do. How about you? Amen & Amen.