14 Without good direction, people lose their way; the more wise counsel you follow, the better your chances. Proverbs 11:14 (MSG)
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WHO NEEDS YOU?
Greetings Sisters and Brothers of Faith,
Not that it should be surprising or anything, but “your community needs you”! And if you are wondering why, just count the slew of television commercials coming at us back to back. “Vote for Him”. “Vote for Her”. Everybody wants our vote. As a result, too many are left thinking, “What should I do? I don’t like this about that party. I don’t like that about this party. I like that about him. I like this about her. Help. I’m confused.” Further compounding matters, everywhere are the sayings, “vote your conscience” or “vote as if your life depends on it!” In either case, if you are on the fence about who to vote for in this election, think long and hard about the people who might suffer down the road. One of those people could be someone you care about; that someone could also be you.
This is not the first presidential election to matter; they all do. Typically, however, when it comes to elections, too many, in addition to being indifferent and passive, don’t know and don’t want to know the issues. This upcoming election is no different. Consequently, to “vote your conscience,” despite seeming reasonable, is risky because it is not always so that our consciences will never be wrong. Consider that our conscience is like an inner GPS. It helps us to know where we are and where we should be going. But like GPS units, our conscience can be fed the wrong information and we end up going places we really don’t want to or should go. GPS units are dependent on the source of information they get. And so it is with our conscience. In other words, our conscience is not some mystical force. We should therefore, seek to have a clear and fully informed conscience in the voting booth.
How do we accomplish a clear conscience in the matter of elections? Well, first, recognizing that emotions influence our conscience, we are obliged to carefully observe and critically evaluate the reality around us to inform our conscience and our actions. Next, we assess the ability of a candidate, i.e., are they fit and qualified for the position aspired to. As someone once said, “avoid flashy comets and instead support faithful stars”. Last of all, look for candidate that is comparatively truthful. The implication is not that “they tell the truth”, rather, “are they persons of truth?” After all, there is a big difference between “telling the truth” and being “a person of truth.” The first focuses on “what the person does.” The second focuses on “who the person is.” Examine the personal/private world of the candidate and particularly in the case of personal wealth, make certain that they have not profited at the expense of others.
As a final point, the ideal act in this election season is to choose the candidate who you think will do the least harm; has shown the greatest dedication to preserving human rights; and not the one with the best chance of winning. To further inform your conscience, there are several nonpartisan websites that can provide an incomplete but good assessment of which candidate has reasonable chances of ensuring our respective expectations. Most assuredly, following these steps aids us in not confusing “voting your conscience” with writing-in a third party candidate or even more egregiously protesting by not voting for anyone – each a mistake because we think we are personally responsible for the actions of our politicians.
All things considered, keep your eyes open and see for sure, that there is a very real direction in this election, one suggesting that “the times they are a-changing”. But the question is, will that change be positive for everyone? Only we can decide. For this reason, before voting in November, remember to: Learn from each candidate based on their individual information; Pray because we are Believers; Choose; and Vote. Most importantly, “Vote as If Your Life Depends On It“!
For Scripture, tells us,
Yours in the struggle…. Reverend Gale Jones, Executive Pastor