As we fast approach Election Day it is almost certain that you can expect a last push for your vote. Even before now the advertising has overwhelmed the public with campaign signs on every corner and commercials on the radio and television. And as we draw nearer to the final day in which the last person standing will be the one with the most votes, desperation and mud-slinging has kicked into high-gear as candidates use toxic arsenal to boost their appeal.
You might say that all is fair in love, war and politics, but how far is too far? It is one thing to inform the public of a candidate’s position, but it is an entirely different game of politics when one minces words and generates deception. What do these acts of malicious intent say about the character of those who endorse them, and how should we as the public respond? The Bible as God’s word gives time-tested instruction on how we should conduct ourselves; and it has much to say about an honest campaign.
David was a young man when he was anointed to be the true king of Israel, and yet he waited patiently for some time before finally assuming the throne. In his youth, he was employed by King Saul to fight against the Philistine giant, Goliath, and in the name of the Lord he won the battle – and the favor of the people of Israel (1 Samuel 17:45-51; 18:6-7). The king, jealous of the praise David received and paranoid that he would take over the kingdom, made several attempts to have David killed because he threatened his position on the throne. And while he had many opportunities to avenge himself, David never lifted a finger against his king nor attempted to damage his reputation (1 Samuel 24:1-13). For his integrity and obedience, David was rewarded as king over Israel after God had removed Saul from the throne, for he was truly a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22).
The character demonstrated by young David, eager to lead his people in victory and righteousness, displays the kind of integrity we should look for in potential future leaders. The Bible says, “It is an abomination to kings to do evil, for the throne is established by righteousness” (Proverbs 16:12). As Christians we have a duty to seek leaders of honor and integrity, and vote for those who revere God and promote Christian principles. It is leaders such as these that run an honest campaign, and their character proves they will conduct the affairs of the public with sincerity and respect.
When the actions of a man portray him with inconsiderate lips and a perverse character, the old adage is often applied – “what you see is what you get”. Those who are desperate for supremacy and conduct themselves in deceitfulness and slander may have temporary success, but in the end will not be rewarded. The Bible says, “He who has a crooked mind finds no good, and he who is perverted in his language falls into evil” (Proverbs 17:20), for “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” (Proverbs 14:34).
As you go to the polls and cast your ballot, keep in mind the integrity of those who seek election; for the character displayed during their campaign reveals much about the office they ask to hold. “Remove the impurities from the silver, and out comes material for the silversmith” (Proverbs 25:4).
I always enjoy hearing from my readers. Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me at twitter.com/michaelwaits.