Monday, November 5, 2012

After The Last Ballot

President Obama and Governor Romney are each finishing their last lap around the country... the debates have been debated.... $1.7 billion has been spent in attempt to convince us not to vote for the other guy....  Political pundits and late night talk show hosts have talked endlessly about the election....  Friends and coworkers have passionately shared how they think we should vote....  Thankfully, in a few short hours the campaigns will come to a close and the decision will be made.  Tomorrow morning polling places across the country will be filled with voters casting their ballot for the candidate of their choice.  Our vote is both a tremendous right and a civic responsibility.  But, what do we do after the ballot has been cast?

Paul's challenge to Timothy is a powerful statement to us, " I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers,  intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—  for kings and all those in authority,  that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness  and holiness.   This is good, and pleases God our Savior."    God's Word provides great wisdom on what our post-election disposition should be:

Paul's admonition instructs us to "first of all"  take a posture of request and prayer.  This is a vivid reminder that we are to look to God as our source.  It is so easy to lose perspective and as a result have misguided passion.  The realization that "every good and perfect gift comes from the Father" fuels a healthy dedication to God. 

Paul further encourages us to intercede for those who are in positions of leadership.  1 Peter reminds us that we are to honor those who are in positions of authority, without any allowance or exclusion if we are not in agreement with their leadership approach.  A powerful truth is that  prayer has a remarkable way of filtering our thoughts and guarding our emotions.  Simply said, it is tough to hate something/someone you pray for regularly.

Finally, this directive of Paul implores us to be thankful for those in authority.  We can be confident that kingdoms rise and fall in accordance with God's will.  Solomon states in Proverbs 19, that "many are the plans of man, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails."  Our current position might not allow us to recognize how God is using those in authority, yet we can trust the promises of His Word.  

Our democratic process is a key part of what makes our country great.  Our ability to freely share our praise/problems with those pursuing political office is a vital part of our democracy.  Our right to passionately endorse the candidate of our choice is both a right and a responsibility.  We are blessed to live in a nation that is free.  It is with that freedom in mind we close with Peter's declaration, "Live as free men,  but do not use your freedom as a cover–up for evil;  live as servants of God.  Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers,  fear God, honor the king." 

Happy Voting!!!  

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