It’s pretty obvious why this election year is so troubling. We have two candidates and nobody seems to like either one, and everybody seems to feel that we should all vote for the one to keep the other out of office.
The problem with all of these comments, is that behind them lies a spirit of fear.
We are afraid of what will happen if Hillary Clinton gets elected. We scream about how she lied to the FBI, how she seems to be above the law, how we don’t trust her. Likewise, we are afraid of what will happen if Donald Trump gets elected. We don’t like the way he talks, we don’t think he handles himself well, we call him names as he has called others names.
You have probably read posts on Facebook about why one candidate is so horrible and things like “This. This. 1000000 times this.” in regards to one candidate or the other and why someone should vote for or against a given candidate. Along those same lines I have seen comments of “I’ll just sit this one out.”
Part of me agrees. I feel a bit like Pilate when he told the Jews they could crucify Jesus but His blood was on their hands, not his. I don’t really want to be responsible for electing either one of the leading candidates into office.
At the end of the day, most Americans don’t like either option and we are scared. Scared of who Mrs. Clinton will elect to the Supreme Court, what she will do about national security, what will happen to the unborn. The same could be said of Mr. Trump. If he gets elected, we have a different set of fears. Like so many of the last several presidents or presidential candidates, he has been compared to Hitler. We wonder how we will be respected as a nation if he is in office. Will we be safe? How many times will he shoot himself in his foot?
Not liking either option is understandable. But living in fear is a different story.
Living in fear is not of God.
The Bible tells us again and again, over 100 times in the New King James, to fear not. 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Yes, the times are troubling. Yes, the options are scary. But God is still in control. He is still on the throne. Leaders come and go, but God does not and He does not change.
And really, putting our trust in God is the only place to put it. Any and every political leader will disappoint and fail all of us. “This is what the LORD says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the LORD.” (Jeremiah 17:5) People are so afraid that neither Mrs. Clinton nor Mr. Trump will save us from the mess we are in. But they won’t. And to think that we will gain any strength from either one of them is to deceive ourselves. Only God is worthy of our trust. Only He will give us strength to face tomorrow.
I can hear you saying, as I would be, “Okay, but there is still an election coming and we have to do SOMETHING.” And you are right.
But there are no good options.
I do not think that sitting the election out is a reasonable option. We have the freedom to vote and while you might not feel like your vote makes a difference, if we stop voting because we don’t like the candidates then we will lose our freedom to choose. It is a privilege to vote. It is, for most of us, by God’s grace that we were born into this country and that we have the rights and privileges and freedoms that we have. We have an obligation to exercise those freedoms and we have an obligation to vote.
I humbly submit that there are other options. There are other candidates running. You might not have heard of them, but they are out there. A quick google search yields a handful of results. A vote for someone other than Mrs. Clinton or Mr. Trump is NOT a throw away vote. In most presidential elections roughly 60% of Americans vote. The polls at this point are pretty close; if the other 40% of eligible voters actually voted, it would make a difference.
And yes, I know that voting this way is scary because what if my vote for someone else means that one of the two leading candidates gets in?! Well, that is a risk. I guess at the end of the day, I would rather vote for someone who I feel comfortable standing behind even if that person loses, than vote for someone I would not want to watch my kids while I run to the store. I cannot in good conscience ‘sit this one out.’ That’s unAmerican.
A month from now, regardless of who wins, I will say “So-and-so has been elected, I made the best choice I could, and my God is still on the throne.” And that is what matters most. He will always be on the throne.