Here’s a good reminder for 2012…from over 150 years ago.
“The fate of the country does not depend on how you vote at the polls — the worst man is as strong as the best at that game; it does not depend on what kind of paper you drop into the ballot-box once a year, but on what kind of man you drop from your chamber into the street every morning.” Henry David Thoreau, July 4, 1854
Our country’s destiny depends more on our daily choices than who we cast our vote for once every four years.
I think the Apostle Paul would have agreed with Thoreau on that point. While he probably wasn’t reflecting on voting when he wrote to the people of Rome, in Romans 12 he lays out a civics lesson for the ages. Here’s what he says (in part) it should look like when Christ-followers are good citizens.
- Love must be sincere — no hypocrisy…no platitudes…love truly.
- Hate what is evil — don’t play footsies with something that will kill you.
- Honor one another above yourselves — put others first.
- Keep your spiritual fervor — love God passionately.
- Practice hospitality — my neighbors matter…all of them.
- Live in harmony with one another — unity is essential…it’s worth fighting for.
- Do not be proud — maybe others’ points of view (even political!) have real validity.
- Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good — this isn’t just the goal, this is possible with God.
What would our world look like if we dropped ourselves into the street every morning embodying these qualities?
So let’s vote…then let’s do what’s more important: live our lives in humble, evil-resisting, passionate, love. Every day.