But God told Samuel, “Looks aren’t everything. Don’t be impressed with his looks and stature. I’ve already eliminated him. God judges persons differently than humans do. Men and women look at the face; God looks into the heart.” [1 Samuel 16:7 (MSG)]
If there ever was a time for wisdom, this election season is it. I’ve watched debates, read articles, researched claims, listened to the pundits, and still haven’t decided. The choice seems to be between bad and worse and whoever is worse seems to change daily.
I came across an article in The Aquila Report that posed an interesting scenario. With apologies to its author John Barber, here’s my version. For a moment, pretend you and your family are stranded in a sinking boat. Along come two rescue vessels. One is captained by an infamous liar and thief while the other is captained by a notorious adulterer and reprobate. Both promise to take you and your family safely to shore. You, however, don’t want to ride in a boat with either sinner and you’re not convinced either one truly knows how to pilot a ship. You’d prefer to wait for an evangelical Christian captain who shares your faith and values.
Many might advise, “Stand your ground; don’t compromise your values. Stick to your guns and stay in the boat!” Others might tell you to get in whichever ship is captained by whoever appears to be the lesser of two evils. This is the situation many of us feel we’re in with the Presidential election fast approaching. We have two candidates claiming they will take us to safety and yet there are few people who want to trust their future to either one. So, do we pick the lesser of two evils, write in a name, or not vote at all?
Let’s go back to that sinking boat and the lesser of two evils option. That’s clearly a no-win situation since no matter which captain we choose, we’ve chosen wrong. Even the lesser of two evils is still evil! In good conscience, can we get in any boat with someone of poor character? Unfortunately, sticking to our principles and staying in the sinking boat is also a no-win solution. Since that hoped for Christian rescue ship isn’t on the horizon, our boat will sink and our family will perish. We’ve failed them by doing nothing to ensure their future. Perhaps our only option is to look carefully at those two scoundrel captains and choose whoever appears to be the better one or will do the least amount of damage while at the helm. The important thing is to save our family and safeguard their future the best we can.
As to which captain or candidate is the better one, I wouldn’t presume to tell you. I will, however, tell you how I’m deciding. I’m consulting with the Captain of my ship—God. He’s given me plenty of guidelines in His word as to the qualities of a good leader and I will prayerfully weigh both candidates against God’s wisdom. While I think God is sorely tempted to throw a few lightning bolts at both politicians, as I mark my ballot, I will be asking myself, “How would Jesus vote?”
For starters, unless Jesus of Nazareth is on the ballot, any election forces us to choose the lesser of evils. … Across every party and platform, all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. [Russell Moore in “Christianity Today”]
A good leader motivates, doesn’t mislead, doesn’t exploit. God cares about honesty in the workplace; your business is his business. Good leaders abhor wrongdoing of all kinds; sound leadership has a moral foundation. Good leaders cultivate honest speech; they love advisors who tell them the truth. An intemperate leader wreaks havoc in lives; you’re smart to stay clear of someone like that. Good-tempered leaders invigorate lives; they’re like spring rain and sunshine. [Proverbs 16:10-15 (MSG)]
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