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Choosing Your Candidate

The presidential election season has descended on us already. One by one, we hear of yet another hopeful, announcing a bid for the presidency.

Special interest groups and lobbyists will soon flood the air waves and mailboxes enlightening us on who we should vote for and why.

Before long there will be those digging up dirt and the mudslinging will begin. Soon questions of competency and character will be raised. Anyone vying for public office should be prepared. It is certainly not for the faint of heart.

Candidates and their political “operatives,” in usual fashion, will hit the talk show circuit. It is always refreshing to hear a positive message about what they believe they can do for our country. It makes us feel hopeful when a candidate offers workable solutions to the problems facing our nation.

At times it is necessary for candidates to address the differences between themselves and the others, in order to show why they are the better choice. Unfortunately there are instances when inadequacies and failures must be addressed.

Some will be accused of “playing politics” for political gain–and it will be the case for some. Unfortunately, however, even genuine efforts to negotiate and to insist on accountability, are viewed as back-room political posturing.

In politics, as it is in life, discernment is necessary. There are times when negotiation is the wise decision and times when it is not. Differing ideologies must work to find common ground. Without the ability to seek areas of flexibility (compromise), our government becomes nothing more than a great tool that never gets taken out of the box. It has no value.

Negotiation is not weakness. It is not one side always giving in to the other’s demands. It is two sides involved in reaching an agreeable resolution to their differences. In government it should always be done with the best interest of the nation and the future generations of Americans.

Accountability is healthy. It is necessary to maintain integrity and the people’s trust. Power can be intoxicating. Those who are given power to make decisions for a nation are particularly susceptible to corruption. A lust for power can lead one to compromise their principles in order to get elected.

It is for these reasons we must examine the character of individuals seeking office. The character of our elected officials does matter. A candidate of good character should not object this.

Examining character is not the equivalent of character assassination. It is evaluating a candidate’s character based on how they’ve handled situations in the past.

Have they conducted themselves honorably? Does their previous behavior assure us of their integrity or make us question it?

“And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching” (Titus 2:7).

Have they demonstrated strong and effective leadership qualities and good judgment?

“If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly” (Romans 12:8).

Do they demonstrate humility or arrogance? An attitude of arrogance or an air of superiority should be a red flag to any voter.

“Pride ends in humiliation, while humility brings honor” (Proverbs 29:23).

Can they admit when they are wrong?

“Neither the king nor his attendants showed any signs of fear or repentance at what they heard” (Jeremiah 26:24).

These qualities are necessary for anyone seeking to be an effective leader of the free world. They are qualities for which everyone should strive.

What do you look for in a candidate? Have you chosen yours yet?

About Melinda

Melinda is currently the worship leader at her small church in rural America. Married for 23 years, she and her husband Larry have one son. She is the Director of Mailing in the print/mailing industry by day and freelance author by night. Her desire to write is a passion borne from tragedy. God used it to take her faith to a much deeper level. Melinda is a freelance writer and member of FaithWriters. She joined the TBL team in March 2014. Believing we are citizens of a greater ‘kingdom,’ her articles for The Bottom Line examine governmental responsibility, citizen involvement and current political topics. With the great wisdom contained in scripture as her guide, she looks at today’s political environment from a Biblical perspective. She prays her words will prompt the reader to view citizenship - and every aspect of their life, through the eyes of faith. Col 3:17 To read more of Melinda’s writings on her faith, hope, and life visit her blog Still Living Still Loving or her page at Faithwriters.com. You can also follow her on Twitter @MKZbk.

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