Voting as an act of Christian stewardship


By Marlysa Gamblin

As a Christian, I believe that voting can be an act of Christian stewardship—a way that we live out our faith. Yet, many of us sometimes question whether we should be involved in the election process at all, or we try to divorce how we vote from our faith.

But if we step back for just one moment, we can see that voting is a vehicle to live out our faith by rebuking the sins that causes hunger and poverty and supporting leaders committed to ending them.

To fully realize the responsibility that we as Christians have in the voting process, there are two important questions to grapple with—how to use voting as a tool for the Kingdom and how the Bible calls us to select our leaders. 

How can voting be a tool for Christian stewardship? While the establishment of voting was created by society, the act of voting can be overcome by God’s presence if we allow the way we vote to be led by God’s word. We see that different types of sin (i.e. greed, selfishness, not wanting to help your neighbor) cause the pain of hunger and poverty—something that God does not want to see. Voting by being led by God’s word has the power to counter the sin of others that may be exacerbating hunger and poverty.

How does the Bible call us to select leaders?  As early as the Old Testament, God allowed man to choose representatives over our communities, by selecting “wise, understanding, and experienced men” (Deuteronomy 1:13). Scripture goes on to say that Moses “will appoint [the selected men] as the heads [over each tribe]” based on the instructions that he received from God. This Scripture highlights (1) the responsibility that we have to carefully select wise and discerning people governing our affairs and (2) that it was God’s plan to be a part of the decision making process.

We see a similar dynamic in the New Testament’s book of Acts, when the disciples are electing a new 12th apostle. How do the disciples arrive to their decision when they are voting, though? They prayed to God and waited for God to speak to them. They were intentional about seeking God’s will.

When we vote, we should ask ourselves the following:

  • Are we praying before we vote and being led by the Holy Spirit when we are at the polling place?
  • How are we using voting to rebuke the sins that cause hunger and exacerbates poverty?

Without asking yourself these questions before you vote, then voting will remain a process created by society instead of being a process influenced by God. Allowing God to guide this process, however, is a sure way to activate our faith and use voting as an act of Christian stewardship.

Learn more about Bread’s I Vote to End Hunger campaign and then get involved to ensure that our next president and Congress make ending hunger a priority.

Marlysa Gamblin is domestic advisor for policy and programs, specific populations at Bread for the World Institute.

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