Are you overwhelmed, frustrated, or distressed by the upcoming election?
You’re not alone!
A September Associated Press poll reveals that the majority of Americans are frustrated and/or angry, and that most Americans feel hopeless in this year’s election. NPR.org reports a Harris online polling for the APA (American Psychological Association), which exposes a statistically equal amount of “significant stress” crossing party lines – both Democrat and Republican. The APA provides sound, detailed suggestions to handle this election-time stress.
A July commentary by Ed O’Brien and Nadav Klein on Fortune.com, refers to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton as “the most disliked presidential candidates in U.S. history” and further, the commentators “. . . think that more fundamental elements of human judgment are at work. Each candidate has a well-known past composed of both admirable actions and bad behavior. ” Many of us agree. These are some of the factors that make this election more stressful for us. Those – and social media.
If you’ve “been around” for a while, you might be comparing this election to those in the past – those in which the candidates spent more time conveying their plans for the country to the American people than they spent time trashing each other. Today we see the residue of that trashing sifting down through the media (those sources we once trusted), dropping into the landfills and junkyards of the office water cooler or the ever-growing social media, resulting in the dregs and residue of half-truths or no truths unreliable, untrustworthy, and unrecognizable. No wonder most Americans are frustrated and/or angry!
Now we are just days away from the crucial and fateful decision of the American people. What do we do? More importantly, what do we Christians do?
First, we pray! We pray for ourselves and other Christians; we pray for our country and our leaders; we pray for God’s will; and we pray for mercy. Remember that God loves our prayers. And He welcomes our prayers (Philippians 4:6). I invite you to link to the Election Prayer Guide, put out by David Butts, Chairman of the National Day of Prayer Task Force Board of Directors and America’s National Prayer Committee. Pray whenever you can and wherever you can – unceasingly.
Next, we pray as we conduct our final research! Certainly we should seek counsel from those we respect, but we don’t need others, especially not social media, to decide for us. When you see something on social media, test it – research it to discover truths. We “have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of us know the truth. . . the anointing we have received from Him remains in us . . . His anointing teaches us . . . it is real . . . remain in Him.” (I John 2:20, 27 paraphrased) Trust that anointing. Ask Him to show you. Go to His Word. Dig into His Word. As you research the candidates, compare them in aspects of leadership, morals, and matters of integrity. Because many Americans lack trust in either candidate, some people are voting for the “platform” of a party, rather than the “candidate.” Do your research and compare the platforms of each of the parties. (Click here to read the Democrat platform – Click here to read the Republican platform) Which platform most aligns with the Word of God? We must pray as we research.
Finally, we pray as we vote! Your voice matters. And your prayer matters before God. As you vote, pray for the unleashing of the Sword – the Word of God – living and active (Hebrews 4:12); pray for Christians to show their faith; pray that the Lord would be pleased with the results; and pray that you will trust in the authority God has established (Romans 13).
Be still, my Christian friend, and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10); thank Him and trust that He reigns (Psalm 93).