Elections Don’t Matter as Much as We Think They Do

Whoever wins the election tomorrow, God will remain in control.

I don’t think it’s a secret that I will not be voting for either major presidential candidate tomorrow. I am not writing this to encourage anyone to vote any particular way, except to keep in mind some simple truths. God will remain in His heavens and Christ on the throne tomorrow, and that has some very practical consequences. In particular it means that it is the law and truth of God which most immediately impacts your life.  That truth should not just be an abstraction that comforts us in hard times.  That is a truth that should immediately impact the choices we make.

I know a lot of people are very concerned with what will happen should one or the other candidate win. I know good people with good arguments for why one or the other candidate will be worse for the country. I do not believe I can confidently forecast which of these people will be worse for the country. I am pretty confident that both of them would be bad leaders, given their histories and track records. But I could certainly be wrong. Good people can look at similar evidence and come to different conclusions. But because God is still God, the most important thing for your welfare in life is operating according to His truth and His principles.

I’m not talking primarily about what you do Tuesday (or maybe already did). I’m talking about what you do after Tuesday. Even if the worst happens and _________ becomes president, it will still be the case that the most important determiner of your success will be whether you conduct yourself in a manner true to God’s word. Your financial wellbeing is less dependent on the major party in power, and more dependent on you being frugal and hardworking. The general quality of your life will be far more greatly impacted by your moderate and disciplined use of material things, that you don’t eat too much, drink too much, or watch too much TV. Most people are physically and financially impacted far more by the bad choices they make than by any taxes or regulations the government may impose on them.

How do I know this? Because the Bible says so. I just got done preaching through Proverbs, and it was a good reminder to me of the wisdom of God, the wisdom that governs the universe, that underlies the very rocks and trees of the earth. There is no caveat given that these principles only apply when government is wise. Government is rarely wise. Yet God’s word remains true. And because God is sovereign and delights to do good for His children, we can be confident that He will care for us. He normally cares for people by teaching them to live their lives by sound principles.

I’m not saying leadership doesn’t matter. It does. Just like weather matters to the farmer. But a wise farmer who is planning ahead can work hard and get by even when weather is adverse. And we should probably view the government in much the same way, for the fact is most of us have very little influence on who the president will be. My vote in particular has just about exactly zero chance of making any difference, since I don’t live in a swing state. Even in a swing state, odds are very low that any one vote will be determinative.

It is in the politicians’ interest to hype us up, to believe that this is the most important election of our lifetimes, something we hear every four years. We hear the most rosy promises of what will happen if we elect one guy, and the direst warnings against the success of the other. Obama told us he would literally heal the planet. Trump promises to “make America great again” and make all our dreams come true.  Both of these claims seem somewhat ambitious, to say the least.

I am a Republican, and am not ashamed of that fact, as I believe the Republican party platform reflects the principles of God’s word much more closely than the Democrats’. I’m often disappointed in Republican leadership, however. I’m not going to pretend to be neutral and nonpartisan. I’m not. And I’m often as susceptible to the hype as anyone.

But the welfare of my life, and yours, depends on the will of God, not on the government. The politicians generally don’t want you to realize that your welfare depends far more on your own decisions, trusting God and doing what He’s called you to do than on who is in power, because as soon as you realize that, you are free. You are not dependent on them to save you.

So work hard at your job. Be creative; think entrepreneurially. Look for opportunities to do good for others, to meet needs, and you’ll never have to worry about making a living. The government can certainly gum up the works and make things hard at times, but they can’t overthrow God’s word.

Raise your kids. Don’t let the government or the entertainment industry do it for you, even if they promise to do it for free. Teach them to be independent God-honoring thinkers, not looking to any government official for their welfare. Teach them to trust Christ and serve Him.

Love your spouse, be good to your neighbors, be honest in your work, foster community.  Look out for the weak and helpless, the widow and the orphan.  Put away sin, put away lust and envy and pride.  All of these things will impact your wellbeing far more than whatever happens on November 8th.

And realize our hope is not in this life, this world, at all, but in the next. For then, no matter what any ruler ever does, they cannot take away your hope. With your treasure secure in heaven, earthly power over you is very limited. They can make things uncomfortable for you for a while, but they can never really hurt you.

Above all trust in Christ, in His death on our behalf, and in His rule over the present age by His Spirit, especially in the hearts and minds of all His people, making us more like Him every day.

Then you are free, free to put away fear, to put away envy and lust, to recognize that though earthly rulers are very good at exaggerating their importance, that the choices you make every day to serve God with your life are far more important to your welfare in this life and in that which is to come than anything any Washington (or Cheyenne) politician ever does. Fear God, not man. You can be salt and light, having a tremendous impact on those around you, an influence far more significant than any election. And then you can go vote as a citizen not just of America but of the kingdom of God, to the best of your conscience, without fear of the results.

2 thoughts on “Elections Don’t Matter as Much as We Think They Do

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *