Our Role in the Political Process
What is the role of the individual Christian in influencing and impacting government? For some of us, God may be calling us to an active role in our government, but that is not likely the case for the vast majority. There are a few things that I am certain are the responsibilities of everyone who calls themselves a servant of the Lord in the world of government and politics.
The first among these would be to pray for our leaders. In order to pray for them, we must know who they are. This means doing some research. Find out who the local leaders are, what district you live in, who your assembly men, and congressmen are and then pray for them. Pray for them by name. The greatest need of someone who is in a place of power is wisdom. Since all truth and wisdom come from God only God can provide a solid source of wisdom. In James God tells us that if any lack for wisdom we need only to ask for it. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, therefore; the war is fought (and won) on our knees.
The second greatest need would be courage. It takes great courage to not only know what is right, but to do it. Often, the right thing is not the popular thing; going against the flow is hard. How many times in the Bible does God tell us to “take courage” or “be of good courage”? God does not waste words, if the idea is stated more than once, it is for emphasis. To stand your ground in the spotlight of the public arena can be difficult. Especially, when everything you do in your private life is scrutinized for even the slightest contradiction.
One of my favorite quotes, is “If you dance with the devil, the devil doesn’t change, you do”, being in the political arena can be at times like dancing with the devil. Corruption and special interest groups entice the average politician. There are many opportunities to compromise who you are for what may even seem to be for the greater good. It becomes so easy to think, “If I compromise now, I will be in a better position later," though it is likely untrue. So pray, pray hard, pray often for our leaders and those in the arena of government. Pray also that God would raise up and send his servants to bring light and truth into this sphere of society.
We also have a responsibility to vote at every election. Jesus said to give unto Caesar what is Caesars’. We live in a democratic-Republic, a government for and by the people. We owe it to ourselves and our government to participate. If you are praying for your representative by name then most of the research is done. Sometimes, it feels like the choices are bad or worse, but we must step up and make that choice. It can be tedious, but participation is the right thing to do, because it is supposed to be our views, our votes, our ideas that form our government.
Finally, know what you believe and why. Where does God stand on the issues? Is it holy? Christians are not nearly familiar enough with what the word of God says. We need to study the word and align our world view with what the truth of God says. When we seek the absolute truths of the Lord as our foundation, vote for the people who most closely represent those beliefs and then pray for God to give them wisdom and courage, it just may be the recipe for real change.