Does Voting Even Matter?!

This is an interesting year politically, is it not?

I have determined not to talk about politics on social media or in a public forum. I will admit, however, that I still don’t know who to vote for. But please, I don’t want your opinion. I am talking to my family about it and to others whom I love and respect. We are having civil, responsible and enlightening conversations.

Neither candidate is perfect but then again, neither am I.

I don’t mean to open that infamous can of worms in this forum or to stir up vitriolic and divisive opinions. That is exactly the opposite of my intent.

You see I do believe that it is more important to love people who vote differently than I do than it is for me to spout my opinions. And, I prefer not to make enemies over Facebook and over politics.

I prefer to use social media as a platform of encouragement and ministry than a bully puplpit.

I read a quote recently that has impacted me greatly. Perhaps it will help you emotionally as you approach the next 3 months of the political circus that we are about to attend whether we want to or not.

“I met those of our society who had votes in the ensuing election and advised them:
1 – To vote without fee or reward for the person they judged most worthy.
2 – To speak no evil of the person they voted against; and
3 – To take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on the other side.” – John Wesley, October 6, 1774.

These words hold powerful advice by a man committed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

His wisdom is just as valuable today as it was over 200 years ago.

I was only 5 years old when John F. Kennedy was running for president of the United States of America. I remember hearing my parents talk to their friends, to our extended family and to one another about the tragedy that it would be if JFK were to win the election. They were concerned about the fact that he was a Catholic and that he would throw America into World War III.

In my little girl mind, I naively thought that life as I knew it in America would cease to exist were the Democrat candidate to come out triumphant in the election of 1960. I went to bed in fear the night of the election and woke up the next morning absolutely trembling. I ran downstairs to find out who had won the election and when my father told me that John F. Kennedy would be the next president, I burst into tears so great was my atrocious anxiety.

My father took me in his arms and assured me that I was safe, that America was still great and that God was still on the throne. After he calmed my terror, he apologized for creating that unmanageable fear in my heart and my mind. My wise father and I prayed together and then I ran joyfully off to get ready for kindergarten. 

I tell women all across America that what happens in their homes on a daily basis is infinitely more important than who is living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The joy that is found at your street address, the principles that are taught around your kitchen table and the peace that rules in your family relationships will ricochet through the generations to come.

I will vote but I refuse to be angry. I will vote but I refuse to condemn. I will vote but I will refuse to alienate people whom I love just because our ballots will look differently on November 8. I will endeavor to take the wise advice of John Wesley and take care that my spirit is not sharpened against those who voted on the other side.

Am I dismayed by the two options that we have for president? Candidly, I am very concerned. However, in the midst of this political mess that America has created, I believe with my whole heart that God is still good and that He is still on the throne. I believe that He is well able to work all things together for good and that He is not surprised by what is transpiring in American politics.

I do have convictions and I will endeavor to vote for the candidate who most reflects my values. If neither candidate passes the litmus test of values embraced then I will write in a candidate. I vote with a holy reverence that voting is a privilege not a game of roulette and that regardless of who wins I must know that I have voted based on principle and not on personalities or on political parties.

Some people say that I am wasting my vote if I choose to write in someone’s name; that is your opinion and you are certainly entitled to it. I won’t argue with you over your opinion but I must answer to God for my vote and my vote alone. If I choose to write someone’s name in, it will be because after prayer, careful conversation and in-depth study, I have determined that is the best thing for me to do.

When November 9, 2016, dawns, I will not be filled with fear but I will be filled with faith. I will remember the words of my father from over 50 years ago. 

America, at its heart is a great nation in spite of its leadership.

I am safe not because of who sits in the Oval Office but because of who sits at the right hand of the God of the universe.

And, I readily agree with the Patriots of our country when I declare, “No King but King Jesus!”

By the way … John Wesley … if you were alive today … you might just receive my write-in vote.

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