“The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.” – Proverbs 11:3

This is an election year, when we vote to fill the seats of governors, senators, judges, and even the president of our country. Political figures are in the headlines of every newspaper and news program, all claiming they would run our country much more effectively than those who are running for office against them. In the worst cases, we see people denounce one another, defame each other, and criticize what their opponents say, all in an effort to persuade voters to elect them or their party’s candidates. With so many contradicting voices, it can be difficult to know how God would want us to vote.

Making our decision even more difficult is the fact that as long as we are electing humans, none of them will ever be perfect. The Israelites learned this lesson when they asked God for a king to rule over them. Even though God Himself chose Saul and David, they still used poor judgment at times. Thus, lacking a perfect candidate does not mean there is no hope for a nation; it simply means we still live on earth.

In the United States, we choose leaders by democratic election. It is ultimately God who gives power to our rulers (see Romans 13:1-3), but we know that He often uses us to accomplish His will. Our job is to determine how He wants us to vote, to pray for His will to come to pass, and to act in obedience to His promptings to us. Although that first step—determining how we should vote—can be challenging, our focus verse says that integrity is a guide. Our integrity comes from the Holy Spirit living within us, so if we act in accordance with His teachings and leadings, we will be well guided. Moreover, we can seek the Lord in prayer about our vote, just as we would with any other important decision in life. When we seek to know God’s mind before adding our input to the direction of the nation, we do a great service to our fellowman. All will benefit from His guidance.

As we study the choices set before us and the consequences of each choice, let us not forget to ask the Lord for His direction. Then, how important it is to pray for His will to be done! And whatever the outcome, may we never neglect our duty as Christian citizens: “That, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” (1 Timothy 2:1-2).

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