Elections, Politics, and Citizenship


Pray for leadersWith midterm elections occurring this week, it’s hard to escape the campaign ads, the political discussions, and the messages encouraging you to vote.

And I agree: one of our responsibilities of citizenship in a free country is to be informed and to vote our conscience. As the old saying goes, “If you don’t vote, you lose the right to complain.”

In our society that seems more divided by the day, this election has taken on more importance and visibility than in past years when the “midterms” seemed almost an afterthought.

My thoughts, however, keep going to God’s Word, which tells us, “Good leadership is a channel of water controlled by Godhe directs it to whatever ends he chooses” (Proverbs 21:1, MSG).  Many politicians think their decisions are based on the will of their constituents, their own personal beliefs, or–unfortunately–“deals” made in the halls of power. In reality, none of those decisions are a surprise to God. Whatever policies are put into place, God can and does use them to accomplish His goals and to display His glory. We can’t always see or understand how a change in the law that contradicts God’s laws can be turned to good. But, according to scripture, God can do so.

Regardless of political leanings and regardless of the outcome, God is in control. Our responsibility is to become informed, seek His leading in our voting, and to vote. Then, no matter who wins, pray for those in power. “Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation” (1Timothy 2:2 MSG).

If you haven’t already taken part in early voting, be sure to vote on Tuesday. Then pray.

(By the way, if you’d like to read a fictional story showing how God influences the life of a politician–based on King David and Bathsheba but set in contemporary Tennesee and resonating with today’s societal issues–check out my award-winning novel The Secret Heart.)