Responsibility as a Citizen

 

Photo on ramapo.edu
 
 
 
Today is Election Tuesday. Christina and I went into the polling place this morning to place our votes. Then, I spent some time reflecting on the significance of my privilege to vote as a U.S. citizen.

It is hard to believe that I became a citizen of the United States when I was about 20 years old. Back then I had no idea of the importance or the value of becoming a citizen of this great country. All I knew was that I would be able to apply for various school scholarships as a U.S. citizen. But over the years, I have learned to appreciate the significance of being a citizen of the United States.

Even with the issue of voting, I did not participate in the voting process until I was in my late 20’s. I just did not see the significance of it. Therefore, it was something that did not concern me nor did it appear on my radar.

But there were two significant events that changed everything.

First, I got a bit curious and studied the history of voting. Yes, I will confess that I was not a big fan of Social Studies in Junior High School or civics in High School. But for some reason, as I was reading up on the great sacrifices that people made throughout U.S. history to provide people with the privilege to vote (voting for women, minorities, etc), it really moved me. It exposed my lack of appreciation and apathy towards the cost that was involved in this important part of the democratic process.

Secondly, God opened my eyes to the importance of having “just” laws in a society to play a powerful role in governing a nation in a God-honoring way. There are many countries where basic human rights are not given due to the rule of a few people or the government. There are places where various laws are passed that impede the spread of the Gospel. In some places, there are laws that are unfavorable for Christ-followers or even blatantly unjust. This is when it dawn upon me that if we had people who feared God and were placed in positions of influence, then it can possibly open some doors for the reality of God’s Kingdom to come alive.

I guess it is important to mention here that I am not saying that government or politics can save people or a nation. Only Jesus Christ can. But since the role of government and politics play such an important role in every society, we need to find ways to shine the light of Christ in these areas, rather than removing ourselves from this arena.

This is why in the Transformasphere Movement we are trying to find ways to get Christ-followers involved in various things related to government and politics. God has called us to bring the reality of His Kingdom to every sphere and sector of society, not as a means of salvation but ultimately, as an avenue to “prepare the way” for the Gospel to be shared.

If we are serious about transformation, then we have to consider this area of voting. Not only is it a privilege (do you remember the first elections held in Iraq) but it is a responsibility. In a self-centered consumer world where the sense of privilege and the meaning of responsibility are lost, we, as Christ-followers need to do our part.