Social media, bumper stickers and the pulpit are all spouting opinions. You have to have thick skin these days, because the implication is often that you’re an idiot if you’re voting differently than the opinion-giver of the moment. My tongue is sore from biting it. I learned my lesson early on: few people will be converted easily. There’s no need to engage in attempts to politically evangelize.
Where is Jesus in all this? HWJV? How Would Jesus Vote? For this election, if I give an answer, I would be assuming a prophetic office that I haven’t actually been assigned. I know how I believe that God wants me to vote. I’m watching and listening to the people who have, indeed, actually been given prophetic authority. I do look to them, and honor their words. But how about Jesus? How is He responding to all that is happening?
Rather than defend His authority, Jesus said that He deferred to God.
A friend recently asked me how I was going to vote. I began to explain my position. I quickly realized her displeasure as her face grew serious as I spoke. We both love God and we both serve Jesus with all that we are able. We immensely respect each other. But on this issue, we disagreed.
She explained her position, admitting anger at her choices, and I meekly explained mine. I did so meekly because it didn’t matter what I said. She had made up her mind and was angry that I didn’t think similarly. She was discusted at my apparent small-mindedness. She felt I had been swept up in propaganda. She was sure that she was right.
My ire rose. Then I instantly squashed it. This is not what God wanted. He wanted unity in His people. How did I move forward without adding to this disunity, but by honoring God’s desire for this election? As I paused, deciding whether to counter-defend myself, or change the subject, I knew that continuing on this topic would only hurt our friendship. I remained silent, wondering how Jesus would navigate these volatile choppy waters of current American politics.
Jesus would do what He told the Jewish Leaders that He always does. He would “do only what he sees his Father doing.” Jesus had further explained, in John 5:30, “By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.” Jesus would look to God and He would see and hear God. He would watch and listen. This was prayer. He would pray. And He would act in love.
This is His command to us throughout October and November in an election year: show people that you are my disciples by loving one another!
Jesus loved and cared for people regardless of the political opinions that they held. I’m quite certain that Jesus’ politics differed from the opinions of some of the many people in the crowds that He ministered to. He was concerned about sin and repentance, not opinions. He engaged with and healed people. He loved them.
Is a lot at stake? Absolutely. That is why we should follow Jesus’ example. It’s important to reject hate, and to forgive offense. Through these months, however, in desperation, our true power in found in pray. HWJV? He would watch and listen to all that God is showing Him, then would vote how He heard God tell Him to vote. Above all, though, in His wisdom, He would know that His prayers were much, much more important that His vote. So He would pray.
It is not too late to pray, pray, pray! In fact, it’s more crucial than ever to cast your vote by praying according to how God tells you to vote! It has been said that you can vote once, but there is no limit on the amount of time that you can pray. Vote by praying. Over and over.
You can try to convince other people to vote your way, or you can spend that energy asking God to intervene and do His will.
Would Jesus pound the pavement to convince people to vote certain ways? In Mark 12:14, some Pharisees and Herodians said to Jesus, “Teacher, we know that you are a man of integrity. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.” They were actually trying to trap Him, but even in their evil intentions, they acknowledged that He wasn’t swayed by men. He taught the way of God, which was based in truth.
Only God knows the truth. Jesus wasn’t “swayed by others, because (He) pa(id) no attention to who they are.” We shouldn’t be swayed, either. Our vote should come from God, and our conviction to vote a certain way, having come from God, should be our basis to pray for others to be thus swayed. Praying brings us peace, because we are no longer tossed around by politics and opinions. Instead, we know we have done our part, and can trust that God will answer our prayer.
It isn’t wrong to discuss politics. God may even be telling you to speak your mind at the right time and the right place. But as Christians, it’s wrong to do that and nothing more, without being concerned that we are adding to the sea of judgement, offense and pride. Love first, politics second. We definitely should go to the voting booth and vote. But first, we should vote as Jesus would vote. By praying.