When Voting Hurts

Voting is a great privilege.  Voting is, historically, a rare honor.  It is the type of privilege we should appreciate enough to do it and honor enough to do it as wisely and thoughtfully as possible.  No matter your race, gender, or background there are many who willingly gave their life to give you a voice in your government.  Do not dishonor their sacrifice with silence.  I also hope minorities and women will take this privilege seriously.  Your right to vote came more slowly than others.  It was won not only by battles and wars fought by armies, but by those who willingly faced ridicule, persecution, and hatred to call out the inequality and discrimination within their own nation.  Tomorrow might carry a difficult decision for all of us, but privilege is much greater than the burden.

This election cycle has left this nation exhausted, divided, and fearful.  The online and  media banter speaks volumes about the deplorable reality of this election.  We all see and hear 100x more comments and thoughts on the two major party candidates in this election than we desire, yet no one speaks about what is good.  No one is making intelligent and thoughtful presentations about the incredible future that is found under either candidate’s leadership.  We simply hear a continuous line of hatred and disgust people feel toward the other party’s candidate.

In light of the spirit, volume, tenor, and reality of this election, I thought it would be wise to share some Biblical advice with those who hold a Christian worldview.  I believe this advice is good for everyone, but because it is Biblical, I believe these are truths a believer must wrestle with if they desire to honor the Lord “in all they do.”  (Including voting.)

I hope these truths help you to not “be deceived.”  Deception is when we see something one way and believe it to be so, even though it is not.  Eve saw the fruit on the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and saw that it was “good for food” and “desirable,” but it brought death.  She was deceived.

Truth #1 – Your ‘Yes’ is your ‘Yes’ and your ‘No’ is your ‘No’ – even when you are alone in an election booth and no one else knows.

“Let what you say simply by ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil!”  Matthew 5:37

Do not deceive yourself into the lie that a “yes” is a “no.”  A vote for a candidate is not a vote against another.  You are voicing your support of that person as president.  Now your reasoning for that might include the need for our country to not have the other major party candidate win, but do not be deceived into believing that your “yes” is a “no.”

If you do not believe that you can actually say “yes” to either major party candidate – and that should be difficult for any Christ-follower – then you might ought to consider a candidate further down the ballot.  You would be better off to vote with Christ-honoring integrity than in party-honoring deception.

You are not saying “no” when you vote, you are saying “yes” like it or not.  So you better find a “yes” by tomorrow.  You are voting for a person to be President, not a platform.

Truth #2 – Evil wins every time evil wins.

“Don not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”  Romans 12:21

Evil will never be overcome by the lesser version of itself.  When you vote for the lesser of two evils, you knowingly and willingly vote for evil.  Dig deeper than what people say is wrong and find what is good.

Truth #3 – Be willing to lose…now.

“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.”  John 18:18

If you find yourself standing with the majority of our world on moral and political issues, you are probably not standing with Jesus.  The world does not stand for what He stands for.

Stop expecting people who live by Biblical principles to win.  Stop expecting people whose policies support the truths found in God’s Word to win popular votes.  I realize it has happened in the past, but more and more our culture is against Christ.

Believers who find themselves among the vogue and popular points of view in politics ought to go and read their Bible on those issues more thoroughly before they celebrate their victories here on Earth.

Truth #4 – Always vote for Life.

“I have come that you might have life…”  John 10:10

Life matters to God.  Very much.  Every life.  Every color.  Every person.  Life Matters!

Abortion does not honor Jesus because it does not honor life – and He is the Creator of life.  Life is his to give and his to take away.  The sanctity of life, however must be honored beyond the womb, too.  If the candidate you support does not also have a compassionate and Christ-honoring view toward the “least of these” in our society, then their view on life does not honor Jesus either.  The lives of the least of these are honored when we care about those in poverty, work to rebuild those who are behind bars, and serve those who are disenfranchised.  Lives matter no matter their color, race, or background.

If every life does not matter to you then no life matters to you.

Truth #5 – Do not follow fear.

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”  Romans 8:15

Fear cannot be your motivation.  Jesus is not up for election, so you – ultimately – have nothing to fear.  The Lord will reign sovereign on Wednesday, November 9 just like he does today.

Do not follow fear into the election booth…follow Jesus.

Here is my challenge for Election Day.

Pray…Fast…Vote

Pray and fast Tuesday…and vote.  Take your place before the Lord and your place in our nation.

“I Got Your Back”

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John 15:13 “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friend.”

The bar is way too low on the standard of friendships in America and even among Christians. In a life where we are “tossed to and fro by the winds”, gospel centered friendship is the most important thing that matters. The Proverbs say “a friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in the time of need.” They also say “There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.” The preacher Solomon, the wisest man of all time says “A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer.” According to God’s word, friendship is not something to be taken lightly…AT ALL.

There is a phrase we have all heard before, on the football field, on the hard-wood, in the trenches of war, in a battle for cancer, and it is this: “I got your back!” Those four words are personal, preferable, passion-filled, and demand persistence. As disciples of Jesus we have an obligation to be the greatest friends. We should be marked by Jesus’ words in the book of John, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friend.” Do you read over that verse and view it as just another phrase Jesus said, or something he sincerely commands? If Jesus said this, it is a fact not an opinion. Jesus raises the bar on our lives as disciples. It is a life marked by love, mercy, grace, and protection. What kind of friend are you? What kind of friend do you have? Can you or anyone around you say, “I got your back!”

There are four advantages in friendship we see in Ecclesiastes for when we “lay down our lives” for our friends and say, “I Got Your Back!”

  1. Success in Life – Ecclesiastes 4:9 “Two friends are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.”

Friends help each other win in life. Friends can see things in your life that you may be over looking. Our blind spots become bigger the more we are alone and feel like we can go at life alone. Isolation is a damaging thing, because in those moments we feel we have no one and no fulfillment. Friends are there to encourage you when you are going through a tough time. Friends are there to motivate you when you lack drive. Friends can be better than you at something, and that’s OK because you are better than them at something. Good friends are compatible and competitive. We lay down our lives to discern when, how, and where to meet our friends need. We desire that they win!

2. Shouldering the Load – Ecclesiastes 4:10 – “If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.”

The roads of Palestine back in Solomon’s day were full of pot holes, pits, and were rugged. When you cannot see at night time, without street lights, it was almost stupid to walk at night alone. Shouldering is carrying a burden for someone It is picking up someone when they are knocked down. Laying down your life may look like accountability. Ephesians says “we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ who is the head of his body, the church.” It is helping a brother or sister out when they have fallen. Now, if we need assistance when we physically fall, how much more so do we need a shouldering partner when we are burdened spiritually?

Shouldering guides two things:

  • Purity:
    • Men need men to fight out of temptation. Pornography and affairs are running rampant through Christian men. Getting each other’s back means we fight the world, the devil, and flesh off together!
    • Women need women to spur one another in their contentment in God’s absolute approval of them.
  • Perseverance: We cannot  grow in our faith without community. We persevere when the Church body believes they are family and accountable to one another. The longevity of life is determined by the community we have around us. The body of believers love each other till death.

3. Sustaining with ComfortEcclesiastes 4:11 – “Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone?”

Real friends inconvenience themselves for the sake of others. Our friends need comfort, and laying down our lives will look like giving up your jacket when it’s cold when they are freezing; offering money in support to help foot a bill; offering a place to stay for a person who needs to be around people; allowing them to cry on your shoulder and vent about the struggles they are having; seeing them at their worse and being present anyways. We sustain friendships with comfort.

4. Strengthening during the Battle – Ecclesiastes 4:12 – “A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple braided cord is not easily broken”

We all know life is a battle for real, and without friends to have our back when Satan is never sleeping, sin is never ceasing, and temptation is always creeping, we are sure to fail! Solomon knows how much it is important to never walk alone knowing you can be conquered. I’m sure Solomon would have gone back in the times where he failed and wished he would have had someone strengthening him in battle. That is why he calls isolation vanity and meaningless. A battle cannot be won alone! What do you do when your friend texts you at 2:00 am and needs to talk? Where are you when your best friend has lost a loved one and feels absolutely defeated? Even when your friend tells you he or she doesn’t need anyone, while they cry and sniff, do you back down and use that as an excuse or do you show up anyways, proving to them that fighting the battle together is non-negotiable?

Two questions for you to ponder in conclusion:

  1. Who’s back do you have?
  2. Who’s got your back?

Your friendship to someone could be the difference between life and death. And vice versa.