Trump vs. Biden. Democrats vs. Republicans. We hear these names and terms almost every hour of every day in the news—so much so that we feel like there is almost nothing else happening.
Yes, Americans once again are spending an enormous amount of time, money and energy thinking about who will be the next President, along with other offices. And rightly so, as this is an election of enormous consequence. At the same time, I want to share a few thoughts for each of us, for before and after we vote.
Before you vote
Some have observed that this presidential election cycle has been a circus atmosphere, with antics and attacks unlike other years. To one extent or another, politics is always going to have its fireworks. That is why it is so important that Christians do their homework on the issues. We care not only that the candidate has the right views—for life-protecting laws for example—but that he or she has the right priorities.
As you do your homework, truly pray that the Lord’s will would be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. Our nation’s founders gave us a democratic republic, if we can keep it, in which we have a say so. Whether it’s the President, Congress, judges or the Legislature, take time to research and pray.
For those holding elected office in the Legislature, for example, you can research voting records online at oksenate.gov and okhouse.gov. For aspiring candidates, contact them directly or their campaign and ask your questions and go to key events near your community. The Oklahoma State Election Board has an official website, too, with useful voting tools and information at ok.gov. In addition, even general websites like Ballotopedia can be very useful.
As others have said, take time to pray, research—pray more—then vote. By participating in the process we will all be better off.
After you vote
Picture it now. It’s sometime after the Election, and we know how Oklahoma and many other states have voted. Maybe your candidate(s) won, maybe they lost.
But that person you know online that you may have derided (secretly or openly) on Facebook for liking another candidate, he or she is still there. That Sunday School class member with whom you may have disagreed, he or she is still here.
In other words, life and people immediately surrounding you don’t change because voting day came and went. That is why it is so important to keep every election at every level issues focused. We can disagree with one another—and disagree strongly—but let it be over the issues, values or important matters of character, not simply personality based.
Christians, even those belonging to the same political party, often find themselves at extreme odds with one another come election season. If you need to mend some fences after the 2020 election, don’t wait. Reconcile with your brother or sister in Christ.
Lastly, remember that your neighbor who is supporting, for example, that political candidate you disdain may be the very person God has put in your path to share the light of Christ with. Before we can always be “right on the issues,” we need to be right with God. In 2020 and beyond, let’s advance the Gospel first, before any political party.
God help us…