You've heard it by now—voting is important. It’s your duty and privilege as a Christian to play your part in electing our government officials.
But let’s be honest. You’re either into politics or you’re not. It can feel like you’re the only one who cares enough or the only one who doesn’t, and you’re not alone in that. There’s a wide range of engagement when it comes to voting and politics among young adults. On one end of the spectrum, you have the people who know everything that’s going on in the political world and have strong opinions they can’t hold back. On the other end, you have those who couldn’t care less, think their voice doesn’t matter, and honestly just feel intimidated and overwhelmed at all the information out there.
So, now that you know you’re not alone, here’s what you also need to know: Everyone starts somewhere. And it’s not too late for you to make an informed decision and cast your vote for this year’s presidency.
Whether you do or don’t have your mind made up, it’s worth (as with all things) letting God’s Word inform your decisions, attitudes, and actions in regards to voting.
Without telling you what to think or who to vote for, here are 8 simple things to do as you consider how to vote.
Prayer is really powerful. God not only uses it to act, but he uses it to change your heart. It’s hard to hate someone you’re praying for. Pray for those in positions of authority now, those who will be in the future, and pray for the election.
“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.” (1 Timothy 2:1-2)
Here are a few points you can pray:
- God, please use everyone in positions of authority in our country to accomplish your purposes.
- God, please save our president and decision makers.
- God, will you please give me wisdom. Help me to know who to vote for and how to use my voice in a way that honors you.
- God, I believe that you are good and in control. Help me to trust you no matter what happens on election day. Thank you for being the ultimate authority who will do away with “bad” once and for all when Jesus comes back.
There is so much information out there, and you can’t believe everything you hear or read. If you need help, our church home, Watermark, has put together an amazing resource to educate you on voter issues.
Hearing from your friends who have their own biases is not the same as doing your own research. Healthy discussion is a good thing and can help open your mind to many different perspectives, but don’t just rely on someone’s take on a matter. Do what you can to gather information, test it against scripture, and then draw your own conclusion.
“The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things.” (1 Corinthians 2:15a)
3. Stand for what the Bible stands for.
As you’re researching issues, you should think through, “What does the Bible have to say about that?”
It’s easy to trust what “feels” right (like fighting for a mom to choose whether she keeps or discards life inside her). But you can rest assured that nothing in God’s Word is for someone’s harm. God is good, and all his ways are good (Psalm 145:17).
For example, you can search the scriptures and find that every human, even in the womb, was formed by God (Psalm 139:13), has a purpose in this world (Ephesians 2:10), and deserves to be fought for (Psalm 31:8). Sin is never the right answer, no matter how it feels, and things generally go better for you personally and for our nation when we choose righteousness (Proverbs 29:2).
“Be careful to obey all these words that I command you, that it may go well with you and with your children after you forever, when you do what is good and right in the sight of the LORD your God.” (Deuteronomy 12:28)
4. Choose the lesser of two evils.
Life is full of choices. And sometimes no choice is perfect. But who we elect and put in power matters. There will never be a perfect candidate running for office, because there are no perfect people (Romans 3:23). Choose the candidate who most closely aligns with what God values.
“When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people groan.” (Proverbs 29:2)
5. Guard against making an emotional choice.
It’s easy and natural to make decisions based on how you feel. The way someone makes you feel isn’t necessarily an indicator on whether or not their values align closely with God’s. Emotional connection to a candidate shouldn’t be the reason you vote for someone. Your emotions are valid, and there is likely a reason you feel the way you do. However, when making big decisions, emotions can cloud your judgment. Do your best to act on wisdom and truth, rather than just how you feel about a candidate or a specific issue.
“Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
6. Go vote.
Don’t sit down at the finish line. Make sure you don’t miss Election Day. It really is important. Many people fought battles all throughout history to make it possible for you to be able to vote. That should mean something to you. Honor them, thank God and the people who have gone before you in history for giving you the ability and the right to vote, and then go exercise that right with gratitude.
Don’t stop at just the presidency. Know who is on the ballot. Odds are that you will be voting for over a dozen positions, not just the President. This website shows you exactly who will be on your ballot.
“So now finish doing it as well, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have.” (2 Corinthians 8:11)
7. Trust God.
You have a vote and you should use it. But ultimately, the decision is up to God. He sometimes allows bad kings to rule for a time to accomplish a purpose we couldn’t fully understand if he told us. That’s where the trust comes in. No matter what happens on Election Day, God is still in control. God is aware of the state of our country and government. He cares. And he’s somehow working things out for good, no matter what happens (Romans 8:28).
Do your job by using your vote, and trust God to do his by working it out somehow for good.
“He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings.” (Daniel 2:21a)
8. Honor those in authority.
Whoever the next president is, or whoever is in any position of authority over you, the Bible is really clear that your job as a believer is to respect and honor that person. If you are a Christian, your first and ultimate authority is God and his Word. Unless the person in power over you is asking you to go against God and his Word, you should keep the laws put in place by that person (Romans 13:1-7).
“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.” (Romans 13:1-2)
Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to voting. You have a responsibility to your country and to God to use your vote. And it’s your job as a Christian to pray for those in authority. God has given you some authority here (over your vote, your attitude, and your actions), and while he has ultimate over authority over outcomes and how people vote (Proverbs 21:1), you can trust that he will never lose control or be subject to a human power. When all else fails, trust God. He’s in it, he loves to see wise rulers, and he is constantly looking for whose heart is fully his (2 Chronicles 16:9). Choose today to use your vote, to pray about issues more than you talk about them, and to take a look at your own heart and see where God could take more ground before pointing fingers (Matthew 7:3).