This past week, on January 22, 2013, the people of Israel voted for our new government. In the weeks leading up to Election Day, I heard many people voicing their opinion about which party they would vote for, as well as people asking for my opinion. In Israel, we are not shy about letting others know whom we are voting for, nor is it considered rude to ask others. On Election Day, I had a long conversation with someone very close to me about the elections. This person has consistently voted for one specific party in Israel, and has even been active within this party for many years. Naturally, I just assumed that he would vote for them again since, for many people in Israel, regardless of a political party’s current stance or its leader, as a matter of a habit they remain loyal to one party… as the famous saying goes, “Old habits die hard”.
During the course of our conversation, he told me that I would be very surprised if I knew whom he voted for this time. And how right he was! I was almost shocked when I discovered that he had voted for a different party. It was interesting to me that his main struggle was that his vote would “go to waste” due to the fact that he voted for a party that would probably not gain many seats in the Israeli Knesset, or even have enough votes to enter the government at all. He voted based on conviction, without regard to strategy or “loyalty”. I shared with him that, in my opinion, he did the right thing. I told him that his vote would count regardless of whether or not his party would get enough votes, and simply because he did not compromise on his values and that which he stands for.
Melissa and I were really struggling with which party we should vote for; we have spent much time in prayer, as we believe in seeking God for His guidance for everything in life. I did a lot of research about each party, consulted with many people whose opinions I respect, etc. But it all came down to the morning of the elections when I asked Melissa if I could read to her the summaries of the core values of each party, without telling her which party it was, and then asked her for her opinion. She told me whom she thought sounded the best, based on her values, and it was the one that I wanted to vote for as well.
We too had the same dilemma as the person I mentioned earlier: would our vote really count or would it go to waste? The bottom line, though, is that our vote was not wasted simply because we did not compromise on our values. Even though the party we voted for did not “win”, our spirits are at ease because we voted for our values, which reflect our biblical worldview.
As I continue with my series of blogs calling on believers to search their hearts, repent, and really start to make a difference in this world, I would like to challenge all of us who have the right to vote, wherever we may be, to search our hearts and be clear about what we are basing our decisions on: our feelings? Our humanistic perspectives? The fact that someone “has the whole package”? someone’s physical appearance? Or are we forming our opinions from the core values of what the Word of God says?
As people who identify ourselves as followers of the Messiah, let me suggest that we are to base our opinions on what is written in God’s Word. While our feelings and perspectives may be important, they are not unbiased or pure. We need to set them aside and make our stand on the core values of the Word; this is indeed God’s standard by which we are to live. It is only when we do this, that our vote will ultimately count and will make a difference, simply because it will make a difference in God’s eyes.
May God bless us all,
*For more information on Israel’s parliamentary system, please see our recent article on our website.
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