Why Vote?

What Would You Say?

You’re in a conversation and someone says, “Why vote? Politics are ugly, and God is sovereign no matter who is in office.” What would you say? It’s true that God is always in charge. Scripture is clear that nothing can ultimately derail God’s plan. But does that mean we don’t need to care about what happens in government? No, and here are three reasons why:    Number 1: Freedom isn’t normal.  Even if you’re not a political activist, you’re probably thankful you live in a place like the United States rather than Venezuela or North Korea, but we often don’t understand why our experience has been so much different, and better, than people in other parts of the world. Democracy, political rights, and civil liberties is all we’ve ever known, we may forget how unusual our experience is. Most people throughout history never experienced the kind of freedom Americans enjoy today. In fact, by many estimates, the majority of people around the world do not live freely today. Those of us who were born into freedom didn’t do anything to earn it. We’re political trust fund babies. Even if we didn’t do anything to earn our freedoms, we are responsible for what we do with it. To whom much is given, much is required. Will we leave our country as good as we found it? Can we make it even better for future generations? Which leads to the second point.  Number 2: Governments, like everything, require maintenance. If we decide to never again mow the lawn, replace the brakes on our car, or fix the leak in our roof, God is still in charge and He will still accomplish His purpose. Still, we do all of those things because we don’t want to live life surrounded by lawns, cars, and houses that were never maintained. That’s how it works with governments as well. By educating ourselves, voting, and running for office, free people do the work necessary to maintain our freedom. Our commitment to these things does not demonstrate a lack of trust in God’s sovereignty, but rather is the way we steward what He has given to us and show kindness to our neighbors. Which leads to the third point.   Number 3: Well-maintained governments make life better for everyone. Ideas are not neutral. Ideas have consequences. Bad ideas have victims. When bad ideas take root in government, people get hurt. By taking care of our government, we don’t just fulfill a civic duty, we make life tangibly better for other people. Babies who would otherwise die get to live. People who would otherwise be punished for speaking the truth get to speak. Parents who would otherwise lose the right to direct the upbringing of their children get to have the final say. Communities that would otherwise be unsafe are able to thrive. Justice exists where it didn’t before. These decisions aren’t simply a matter of taste, like vanilla or strawberry. In some cases, it could be life or death. Yes, God is in charge, and we can trust Him. But God placed us on earth to care for the world he created, including the government. He didn’t create any of us for indifference. So next time someone says it’s not important to vote because God is in charge anyways, remember these three things. Number 1: Freedom isn’t normal. What we enjoy as Americans is a gift. Squandering gifts isn’t trust, it’s ungratefulness. Number 2: Governments, like everything, require maintenance. We should vote for the same reason we mow our lawn. Things get worse if we don’t. Number 3: Well-maintained governments make life better for everyone. Voting isn’t simply a duty, it’s a chance to tangibly improve other people’s lives. When we have those chances, we should take them. For what would you say, I’m Joseph Backholm.