Dear Millennials – as well as anyone else who happens to click on the link to this blog post – do you know what you’ll be doing today, November 8th?

Hopefully, you will (or will have already) cast your vote for the candidate of your choice for the presidency of the United States. Like it or not, your vote does matter – as does your voting at all – so it’s best to do your research, not be swayed by opinion or bias (whether that comes from angry Facebook rants or your favorite celebrity), and plan on registering and being present at your polling place.

But before you can do any research, before you can cast that vote…you have to realize that it all starts with you.

Yes, you. You in school, you with the degree, you with a job, you with a spouse and family…regardless of your station in life, you have a responsibility for yourself; particularly, your actions and behavior.

But wait, Savannah, what do my actions and behavior have to do with politics? Well, that’s a good question.

I can’t speak for absolutely everyone my age, but I can speak from my own personal experience in that your actions and behavior are dictated by your worldview, and what – or, specifically, Who – your worldview is based in matters. Your worldview does in fact affect major decisions, including who you’ll be voting for this Presidential election.

So, what are we doing in the meantime? Or, what aren’t we doing? And what does this have to do with the election coming up?

Let’s talk about that.

We aren’t stepping up.

Men are called to be leaders, both spiritually and within their homes (Ephesians 5:23, 25-26). Women are called to be supporters and nurturers (Ephesians 5:22-24). And regardless of gender, everyone is called to serve others and spread the Gospel (Matthew 28:16-20). So, as such, we need to step up, and as a generation, I personally feel as though that hasn’t really been happening like it should.

We’re not serving.

Speaking of serving others, I feel that as a generation, we’re trying to come out on top as far as jobs and success goes. We’re looking out for number one, so to speak, and we’re racing to our own personal finish lines in order to achieve our personal goals. But doesn’t seem that in doing so, we’re so inwardly focused that we’re forgetting to look out for the well-being of others and forgetting to see to their needs. Our “races” need to be less about ourselves and more about actually getting to Heaven (1 Corinthians 9:24; Hebrews 12:1).

We’re silent

It’s very easy for us to be silent in a world that’s so loud. And even if we do decide to speak, we’re afraid to come across as crazy or even hateful to those who disagree with us. Inaction is just as bad as a bad action, especially if it means that someone will wind up lost. We’re afraid of escaping what comforts we know, not unlike the rich young ruler in Matthew 19:15-26.

Savannah, now you’re just being negative. I wanted to read something positive.

Dear reader, I know. But honestly, self-examination in this regard is healthy just because of the fact that we’re striving Heavenward. We can’t do that if we’re not evaluating ourselves and where we are in our relationship with God, and sometimes, that evaluation is hard. I know it’s hard for me.

So, let’s shift gears. What can we do?

We can step up.

It’s never too late to take on your God-given role. Nor is it too late to live faithfully, period. Remember, God will meet you where you are, just as He came to Moses, Isaiah, and others.

We’re also called to go into all the world and preach the Gospel. If we have chosen God, the absolute least we can do is obey His commandments, including those to serve. In fact, the two greatest commands God asks of us are simple: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind,” and “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37, 38 NASB). And He says to us in His Word, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15 NASB). That’s all He wants from us: love and obedience. And in return – no matter how we act or how we feel – He loves us far more than we can imagine.

We can serve.

It’s also never too late to start serving. If you’re not sure where to start, prayer is an excellent way to begin your journey of outward service. Ask God to reveal to you what the best ways to serve are. It’s better to ask God for help than to not act or serve at all.

Also, look to Jesus’ example as to how to serve. In fact, take a look at what He says to His disciples after washing their feet in John 13:12-17 (NASB): “Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them. “

We can speak.

Regardless of our fear, and regardless of our worry that we won’t be heard, we do in fact have a voice.

Also, do you know what the coolest part is? You don’t even have to use your vocal chords. Your actions as a Christian are the greatest sermon you can preach, the greatest article you can write, the greatest speech you can give, and the greatest lesson you can teach. Jesus not only spoke to others, but He also took action, from healing the sick to even physically tearing apart the shop stalls in the temple that disregarded His Father (Matthew 4:23; 21:12).

So, finally, what does all of this have to do with politics?

As mentioned earlier, your actions and behavior are determined by your worldview, and what or Who your worldview is based on is detrimental to those actions and behavior. Are you basing what you’re doing – or what you aren’t doing – on your own desires, your fears, and/or the world around you? Or, are you basing your actions – and, in turn, your confidence – upon your belief in the God you serve?

Choosing not to vote can be, in essence, compared to choosing not to stand up for what you believe in. Sure, it’s on a much larger scale, and we ourselves have no control over the candidates and the opinions and press surrounding them.

However, we must remember that all it takes is making the decision to vote based on our worldview. Therefore, if our worldview is based on God, the vote we place should be in line with what we believe in.

That’s why I can’t stress enough that we need to research each candidate thoroughly without bias before we vote. That’s why we can’t totally depend on what the media tells us about each candidate. We need to base our decision to vote based on our faith and our own discernment based on that faith, which we can ask God’s help for. And no matter what, we need to pray for not just the candidates, but also our current President and anyone else involved (1 Timothy 2:1-4).

By Savannah Cottrell