I have to say that I’m not really looking forward to the prospect of a General Election less than two weeks before Christmas. I don’t suppose that I’m alone in thinking like that. If we listen to some politicians, we are told that this General Election will be the most important in a lifetime, as it might well affect if our how we leave the E U and even whether or not the United Kingdom remains intact.
I wonder, though, how we make a decision about the candidate for whom we should vote. It would seem that many people have always voted for the same political party, and they’ll continue doing so, without much thought about the consequences. Others apparently vote for the party which promises the best for them. A good number probably find themselves undecided and therefore fail to cast their vote at all.
The issue of decision-making is one which clearly affects us all. Some decisions may be important; others are less so. But decisions have, nevertheless, to be made.
I wonder, though, how God wants us to make decisions. Should they be made solely on what might most benefit ourselves, or might there be another way? I like the words of the psalmist in Psalm 25, where he brings to the Lord, his desire that He might be led by Him. We read his words, “show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Saviour, and my hope in in you all day long.”
The psalmist wants God to show him the way forward, and I believe that we need such a desire today. Can I ask if we are praying about the party for whom we should vote in the General Election? Are we open-minded enough to recognise that our way might not necessarily be God’s way? Can we put what we might see as the good of the nation at large before our own personal desires? Will we seriously ask God to lead us as we make this decision, and indeed other decisions too?
The problem in our society today is that many people are only concerned for themselves. They are only interested in how what might happen will affect them. Sadly, they don’t give any credence to how decisions will affect society at large, and even the nation itself. Few would seem to seek God’s direction for their lives, or for the decisions with which they are faced.
When we consider the coming of Jesus for us, as we’ll celebrate at Christmas, we need to be aware that, in coming into the world to be our Saviour, Jesus was actually made nothing for us. As the prophet, Isaiah, tells us, He was the suffering servant. God sent Jesus because He put the position of sinful men and women like us before the situation facing His only Son. It was God’s will that Jesus was eventually crucified in our place. He died to pay the penalty of our sin, a penalty which we could not pay ourselves. As well as being the sin-bearer, Jesus provides us with a great example of sacrifice on behalf of others.
The challenge for ourselves has to be whether we seek God’s will for our lives. Also, in our decision-making, are we willing to put the needs of other people before our own personal preference? I believe that such challenges apply, not just to the decision which we might make regarding this forthcoming General Election, but to decisions affecting every area of our lives, and also how we make decisions in the life of our church. May God bless you as we come to celebrate the coming of Immanuel: God with us.
Graham G Brown