Voting is a God-given obligation
Published: Saturday, January 27, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 27, 2007 at 1:19 a.m.
Q:One of my relatives got very upset at me when I told him the other day that I didn't vote in the last election because I thought it was a waste of time. I admit I'm cynical about politics and politicians, but he said I have a God-given responsibility to vote. Is he right?
A:It may be obvious but it's true nevertheless: If everyone stayed home from the polls and neglected to vote (as you did), our system of government soon would come to an end. Eventually we would lose our freedoms and end up with some type of dictatorship. Do you honestly want that to happen?
I have been privileged to know many political leaders over the years, and the more I got to know them the more convinced I became that the vast majority were hardworking and honest men and women who sincerely wanted to do what is right. They weren't perfect, and sometimes they made mistakes - but our society would be far worse without them.
The Bible says that "The authorities that exist have been established by God" (Romans 13:1). This means that government is not a human invention, but God designed it and established it for our good. This is one reason I believe we have a God-given obligation to vote, and to work in other ways for our society.
One of the most important ways we can influence our world is by praying for our leaders. The Bible tells us to pray "for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness" (1 Timothy 2:2). Put Christ first in your life, and then ask Him to help you take your responsibilities as a citizen seriously, as He leads you.
Q:Is it ever possible to go back and straighten out something you've done that was wrong? I got involved with another woman a few years ago and left my family for her, but now she's left me and I realize it was all a big mistake. My former wife has remarried, and now I'm in the dumps.
A:Both human experience and the Bible teach us that bad decisions in life always lead to bad consequences - always. The Bible warns, "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows" (Galatians 6:7).
I realize this may not seem like much comfort. But one reason I wanted to reprint your letter is because someone reading this may be tempted to do what you did - and your experience is a vivid warning of what can happen. My prayer is that they will stop and turn away from the wrong road before it is too late. The Bible says, "It is better to heed a wise man's rebuke than to listen to the song of fools" (Ecclesiastes 7:5).
But listen: Although you have left God out of your life so far, He still loves you, and He wants to come into your life and set your feet on a different road. When Jesus Christ went to the cross, all your sins - every one of them - were placed on Him, and He took the punishment you deserve. By a simple prayer of faith confess your sins to Him and open your heart to Christ.
Then ask Him to lead you to a church where Christ is preached, and where you can have fellowship with other believers. You may be surprised to find some of them have trod the same path you have. But they have discovered that life is different when we learn to walk with Christ - and so can you.
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