When Voting Your Conscience Is Unnerving, God Is in Control

I voted my conscience today and am trusting God to handle all the side issues and fallout of this election. And though, yes, I trust Him to do what’s best that’s actually a very unnerving thought in this case. Here’s why:

  1. Sometimes God gives us what we want. Israel wanted a king even though His plan was for them to live by a different system than the nations around them. He gave them Saul. Internal war and strife ensued. 1 Samuel 8
  2. Sometimes God uses evil rulers to get his people back to where He wants them to be – even if this means a time of chaos and captivity in the meantime. (See Ezra 5:12 and the story of King Nebuchadnezzar.)

I have thought for many months, “We may just get what we deserve” in regards to this election. And though all this is indeed frightening, my hope and trust is still in the Lord because …

  1. even when He gives us what we want (or what we deserve) when we go against His will, God is always working for the ultimate good of His people.
  2. even heathen rulers ultimately answer to God and can be used to accomplish His purposes. (See Daniel 4 for the rest of Nebuchadnezzar’s story.)

The mind of man plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps.

Proverbs 16:9 (NASB)

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4 Reasons You Should Vote Today – Even If You’re Sick of Politics

I was always an enthusiastic voter. I voted as soon as I was old enough and was proud and excited to take my daughter to her first experience at the polls when she turned 18. Yes, I was enthusiastic about voting – until about the last decade. There have been several times I almost decided not to go to the polls because I’m fed up with the whole political scene. I am tired of my party offering up candidates that are an embarrassment. And I’m especially disgusted with the idea that I can’t trust that anyone is really telling the truth – about themselves, about other candidates, about the issues at hand. I used to like doing my research to ensure I was an informed voter. The process now just wearies me. So, what keeps me going to the polls? Here are a few thoughts that keep me motivated and I hope they will motivate you, too.

1. Voting is your right. We protect the right to vote by voting.

Don't give up your right to vote.

Don’t give up your right to vote.

2. Voting is your privilege. Insightful discussion is abounding on the idea of “checking your privilege” (see some great links below). The Oxford Dictionary defines privilege as “a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people.”

The “check your privilege” movement is meant to … well, I’m not sure what it’s meant to do. In some cases it seems to promote discussion between privileged groups and those without said privileges. In other cases, it appears to be a quick come-back meant to stifle discussion by telling the one perceived to be privileged they have no right to speak on a matter because they have not experienced the hardships of the group most harmed by the issue at hand.

For the purposes of this discussion, I’d like to broaden the concept of privilege beyond the borders of the United States. Compared to many other nations, we are privileged with our system of government. Others, like those currently protesting in Hong Kong, are still fighting for the rights and privileges we take for granted.

One notion in the “check your privilege” concept, at least by some, is the challenge to use whatever privilege you do have for the good of others. This I wholeheartedly support. As US citizens, we should exercise our privilege to vote because it can impact the lives of those less fortunate both here and abroad.

3. Voting is your responsibility.  Voting is a civic duty that has a lasting impact on future generations. I have been most apathetic about voting when the choices come down to the “lesser of two evils” in my thinking, when there’s no one I can really support. But if you think about it, keeping the worst of two evils from taking prominence really can be turned into a motivator.

4. Voting is the credibility behind any complaining or protesting you’d like to do. I’ve been happy to see the “get out the vote” campaigns in the midst of the protests over the Mike Brown shooting in my St. Louis county, which includes Ferguson, Missouri. Now, I want to see a good voter turn-out as a result. I’m tempted to say all future protestors of voting age must wear their “I Voted” stickers to the next rally or not be allowed to protest. And, please, tell me you voted before you go into any kind of social media rant on the state of the world. Otherwise, I may be tempted not to listen to you at all.

Yes, I may be tempted to hold my ears while you try to speak if you haven’t voted at the end of the day, but I won’t. After all, one of the goals of this blog is to bring everyone to the table for good dialogue. So, if you don’t vote, maybe we can start with that. Why don’t you vote? What would it take to get you to vote? And if you are an enthusiastic voter, or an “I’ll still force myself to vote” person like me, do you  have any reasons to add to my list?

 

Further reading to get you thinking about the idea of privilege:

http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/the-origins-of-privilege

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/117665/princeton-essay-check-your-privilege-raises-legitimate-gripes

http://theprincetontory.com/main/checking-my-privilege-character-as-the-basis-of-privilege/

http://blog.shrub.com/archives/tekanji/2006-03-08_146

http://www.buzzfeed.com/regajha/how-privileged-are-you