This election season, I find it both saddening and amusing that some of my Christian friends in Facebook are more passionate in promoting their candidates than they’ve ever done with Christ. While they share dozens of posts endorsing their candidates (or discrediting his or her opponents) each day, they have rarely or not at all shared Scripture or posts glorifying Jesus Christ. They actively engage in debate against others who support the opposing candidates, and yet, when it comes to urging others to believe in Christ, they shy away from it. It’s as if having their candidates win the election is the most important thing for them.
There’s nothing wrong with desiring a better government and supporting a candidate. But here’s a friendly reminder: we Christians shouldn’t lose perspective! Our earthly citizenship and what comes with it – suffrage, politics, patriotism, etc. – is far secondary to our pursuit of the matters relating to our heavenly citizenship.
I’ve already written about this during the past election season (2013), but let me reiterate: let’s not put our hope in this election and our candidates. The 2016 presidential election, governments, and this world in general are fleeting. Thus, we must invest our hope and heart on the Sovereign God who not only holds our present and future, but Eternity as well.
The outcome of the election, as every detail of history, is ordained by God’s sovereignty. For it is God who places the authorities over us (Daniel 2:21, 4:32; John 19:11; Romans 13:1); and all rulers, governments, and Creation are under His supremacy (Psalm 22:28, 2 Chronicles 20:6, Psalm 103:19, Proverbs 21:1). Thus, if we believe this, even if the “wrong” candidate won, we’ll be able to submit to his or her office, as we’ve been called to do (1 Peter 2:13, Romans 13:2-5), and trust that God has something good in store for us (Romans 8:28). This “good” may not be fully realized in this world, but then again, our hope is found in Eternity. Our joy and hope aren’t reliant on the result of this election.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not at all saying that we Christians should be apathetic about voting. Not at all. Proper belief and trust in God’s sovereignty don’t at all result to laziness, indifference, and passiveness. Though we are “exiles” and “aliens” of this world, we aren’t instructed to withdraw from it. On the contrary, we are called to engage with it – to seek the betterment of the place we are exiled in, i.e. the world (Jeremiah 29:7), and be its salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16). And that includes making an effort in choosing our leaders. My point is, though we should do our best fulfilling our duties as voters, we must not treat the election as an ultimate end. Important as it may seem to be, it’s still a momentary matter – relatively insignificant to the eternal scheme of things. Hence, again, it means we don’t make our hope and joy dependent on the election, the candidates, the outcome, and the government.
So let’s love our country and yearn for its welfare and improvement. Put effort on choosing who to vote for president. Research. Think. Think harder. Pray. And on May 9, let’s do our duty as citizens. Let’s vote. However, let not our hope be in these things. If who we voted for wins, then good. If the Philippines become a better place to live in as a result of this election, then good. But even if these won’t be the case, we have ample reason to rejoice. For regardless of what happens to our earthly state, including of those related to being Filipino citizens, our Great King – who owns our full, undivided allegiance – has provided us a Glorious Hope to look forward to while we’re waiting for our call Home.