WHOM should I vote for? And why?
These are questions many Americans are asking as the political season swirls toward Election Day. From local to state and national offices, there are choices to be made. Whom should we entrust with leadership?
While politicians really can't ask for us to vote for them because of their spirituality, voters can certainly take this factor into account. Shouldn't we be willing to exercise a measure of discernment and perceptiveness about a candidate's spirituality, along with the other more usual issues that are considered?
And isn't this quality an important ingredient for the kind of leadership we want to vote into office? Men and women who want to be instruments of what is right and not of personal ambition or special interest groups? Who want to represent uncompromised Principle and impartial Love--which really means representing God, good-- with fresh, creative answers to our social and economic problems?
Christ Jesus thoroughly embodied this kind of leadership. He opened new frontiers of thought and action. He taught and demonstrated God's moral and spiritual law as the basis of our rights and responsibilities. He wielded total dominion over the material sense of things, healing sin and all types of physical ills through spiritual power. Yet he summed up his attitude as ``I am among you as he that serveth."
How can we recognize candidates who want to serve us and who are being impelled by a measure of spirituality? We can know through prayer.
The very fact that you are reading this article indicates that you care about a citizen's responsibility to vote, to do what is right. That's a kind of prayer. To be willing to recognize that opponents generally are not rogues or simpletons--as media and campaign strategists would too often have us believe--but basically decent men and women who want to exercise legislative and administrative talents, is also prayer, because you want to be fair, and not manipulated by campaign mud-slinging.
``Consistent prayer is the desire to do right," states Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. A few pages earlier she writes, ``Prayer, watching, and working, combined with self-immolation, are God's gracious means for accomplishing whatever has been successfully done for the Christianization and health of mankind." Isn't this our goal? For mankind to experience more security, progress, and health through better morals and a greater understanding of God's government?
The willingness to temper our own passionate opinions and political biases, to listen objectively to all sides, and to be open to wisdom's judgment is powerful prayer. It humbly seeks the guidance of God, who, the Bible tells us in the book of First Samuel, ``seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.
Christian Science teaches that it is entirely natural for us to experience the guidance of wisdom. You may have already been guided in other decisions by divine wisdom, whether you recognized it as such or not. Perhaps when driving a car or riding a bicycle, you have been impelled suddenly to slow down or go a bit faster or make a turn-- and as a result have been saved from a bad experience. You were saved because you put aside your limited judgment and obeyed wisdom's guidance.
The naturalness of good is at the core of Christ Jesus' teaching. Evil is exposed as unnatural. The true selfhood of man is revealed as wholly spiritual and perfect, because man is the offspring of God, Spirit. Human appearances may dispute man's inherent goodness, but Christian Science shows us how to look beyond ``the outward appearance" and see that, as the image and likeness of God, the real man expresses good.
Through our individual prayers --rejecting character assassination and media hype, recognizing solutions by listening for God's guidance--we will not only be led to vote for those who will be most able to let spirituality flavor their decisions and actions, but we also will help elevate the electoral process as a whole. BIBLE VERSE
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. . . . The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. . . My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion: so shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck. Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble. . . . The wise shall inherit glory.
Proverbs 3:5, 6, 19, 21-23, 35