Monday, February 29, 2016

When Good People Run Things: Considering the Presidential Candidates and Deciding How to Vote



Like most people, I am deeply concerned about the upcoming Presidential elections. My greatest fear about the candidates is that God will give us the one we deserve, not what we need. That fear drives me to my knees, as it should every God-fearing voter in this country.

This morning, I opened The Message to Proverbs 29. (It's a paraphrase, so I don't study from this book, but I enjoy the different language on occasion.)  What I found spoke so strongly about leaders that I felt it was worth a little discussion.

"When good people run things, everyone is glad; 
but when the ruler is bad, everyone groans." Proverbs 29:2 

We've seen the truth of this proverb more than once over my lifetime. 

For the next four years, we need a genuinely good person to be in leadership. 

I'm not talking about the person who espouses Christianity. I'm talking about the person who has demonstrated, over the course of a lifetime (or most of that lifetime), that they understand the difference between right and wrong. 

We need a leader who has tried to do good and not evil, right and not wrong, on a consistent basis. 

We need a leader who will struggle with the issues to make the best choice, agonize deep into the night if necessary, because the choices our next president will need to make will be hard.

"A leader of good judgment gives stability;
am exploiting leader leaves a trail of waste." Proverbs 29:4 

There has been conflict in our nation for much of my life. We need stability. We need good judgment. Sound values. Right living. 

We need a leader who has demonstrated good judgement on an ongoing basis.

I know the norm for many people is to vote for the one who (they believe) can "beat the other side". For once, let's stop that. 

I'm not pushing for any particular candidate here. 

I've heard quite a bit about which candidate can beat the other side, and it terrifies me. For once, let's look for the candidate who is a good person and has good judgment, then give them our vote and let God deal with "the other side". 

As a local elected official, I can attest to the complexity of the issues facing us. I can also attest to the fact that it is possible to learn what is needed to understand the issues, make sound judgments, and do what is right. It's hard, and it's time-consuming, but it can be done.

As disciples of Christ, we are instructed to pray for our leaders. If there was ever a time to pray for leaders, it's now.

As the time for voting, both in primaries and in the general election, draws near, let's remember that we the people  have the power to decide what kind of leaders we have. Let's spend some time praying for those leaders in advance. 

Pray long and hard about the candidate for whom you will vote. Look for leaders who are "good people" and have "good judgment", not the one who has the greatest potential to beat the other side.

Israel faced such a dilemma once. They demanded a king, so God gave them what they deserved. Saul was tall and handsome and flashy. He was also insane, and a terrible king. He was what they deserved.

I imagine they praised God when He finally gave them the king they needed. King David might not have been outwardly as attractive as Saul, but God looked at his heart and knew he was good.

As we prepare to go to the polls, let's cast our votes for candidates who are genuinely good people. Candidates with a record of sound judgment. Candidates who have shown they can make the world a better place. 

Stability. Goodness. Leadership. It's worth the effort to examine the candidates and vote accordingly. 

Let's not neglect to pray that God's perfect will be done, in our nation and in the leaders He gives.
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Be sure to check the updated Prayer List 
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