I’m Voting For James
Today is Election Day, and it is a lot like the Superbowl: A climactic national contest that grabs the attention of our entire country. Some are really into it and will gather at various watch parties with fellow fans sporting team gear. Others are more casual fans who will simply track results on their own at home or at work. A small portion of our populace don’t really care about all the hoopla, but even they are aware that today is a big day for our country.
I fall in that large middle group, but I have a significant aversion to constant updates on election results. Many enjoy the great drama of the evening, but I would prefer to just wait until tomorrow or whenever the results are all in and then review them when everything is settled. That’s not what I do, mind you, but that would be my preference.
This year I plan to watch results more than usual, in part because my wife enjoys following it more closely, but also because I am anxious about the fallout, regardless which way the election goes. Business owners all over the country are boarding up their shops to guard against post-election vandalism as a growing number of our people are increasingly willing to break and burn things if they believe something is not right.
However, while a majority of Americans still condemn violence as an inappropriate response, I am just as concerned about the socially acceptable practice of simply hating and excoriating the fools on the other team. This phenomenon was already raging before the election, and I fear the results will only provide more fuel. The words of James fit us better all the time: “You want something but don’t get it, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them.” (James 4:2)
I say these words fit ‘us,’ and not just ‘them,’ because I see traces of the same basic angst in my own heart. Toxic words and attitudes periodically reach the surface revealing I am part of the problem. My heart needs the same cure as everyone else.
Sunday morning God shipped a powerful antidote right to my door, again via the voice of James. “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.” (James 3:17–18)
This is what I’m voting for, and this is one time when I would urge you to vote early and often.