Tomorrow is Election Day in the United States. Americans are in the process of discerning the right candidates for both national and local elections. We are asking, “Who can do the best job for us?” Implicit in our thinking is the question: Which candidates can best contribute to our personal prosperity. More starkly put: Who can do the most for me?
But in his letter to the Philippians Paul suggests a quite different criteria, a criteria that has less to do with personal self interest and more to do with the welfare of the community: “Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests, but also everyone for those of others.”
As Christians approaching the election booth aren’t we encouraged to keep uppermost in our minds candidates embracing programs fostering the best interests of our neighbors, and especially of our neighbors most in need? As Christians aren’t we asked to look beyond narrow self interest and to ask who is advocating programs that can most contribute to the common good of our local and national communities?
Scripture asks voters to transcend a cultural American individualism that focuses on personal interest and asks us to consider what best serves our communities.
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