September 16, 2020
We are a little more than six weeks out, and we all know the intensity of the political rhetoric will only increase as we near election day, Nov. 3.
So, for all of us in Baptist life, what if we take these next six weeks and determine to truly make a difference?
First, if you are settled on your choice for president, then choose to refrain from listening to anything beyond your local news in the morning, at midday and in the evening.
Leave the various political discussions taking place on other shows throughout the day to those still trying to decide how to vote.
Instead, use that time to pray for God to make your heart sensitive to the needs around you and how you can serve.
It will be fun to discover where God leads you, even if the service He needs from you is more prayer or moments of encouraging others through various forms of affirmation and being a listening ear.
Spend extra time during these next six weeks reading God’s word and seeking what He is saying to you during this time when the world wants us to be fearful, agitated and anxious.
Second, find out which other positions are up for election and will be on the ballot. Use these next few weeks to determine for whom you will vote in each role, not just president.
If you vote a straight-party ticket, use the time to share with others why you are making that particular decision.
You might even share a resource comparing the Democratic and Republican platforms with your friends who are undecided.
The option prepared by the Alabama Policy Institute summaries both platforms and removes the “unscrupulous platitudes about the other side,” according to Parker Snider, director of policy analysis for API.
The resource can be found at tabonline.org/platforms.
Snider said the API’s goal was to produce a “primer … (striving to) avoid anything more than mere comparison.”
If someone seems to be torn on how to vote, be willing to talk through the issues, the party platforms, the candidates, etc., in a calm discussion.
Share your convictions and why you are voting the way you are. Share your concerns with the opposing candidate or party. But do all of it with facts and your personal reasoning. Avoid embellishing the facts.
Third, show grace and kindness to those not voting for your candidate and/or your party.
Choose to be grateful they are exercising their right to vote rather than being upset with how they are voting or speaking disparagingly of them.
Fourth, use these next six weeks to outline how you will pray for those elected to lead our country and serve in various public service roles — even if your candidate doesn’t win.
Determine how you can serve your community and the country — and how you can share God’s love at the same time.