Vision New England Blog

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The general blog of Vision New England dedicated to equipping and encouraging New England Christ followers to do justice, love mercy, walk humbly and make disciples.


Stand Up for What You Believe In, For the Love of God

 

            When I was in college, my favorite professor gave me some important feedback. “You’re a very forceful writer,” he said. “That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but you need to make sure you don’t alienate your audience.” Since then, I’ve really challenged myself to scale back the vehemence of my discourse. In this post, however, I will attempt no such thing. This piece is about the importance of conviction, and as such, I intend to write in such a way that conveys the sense of urgency with which I feel we need to approach this subject.

            For those of us 18 and older, it is quickly approaching the time for us to vote. Over the last several months, the major attitude I’ve heard expressed is a hopeless feeling that people have no real choice, and that they are exasperated at the prospective of choosing between “the lesser of two evils.” To be completely honest, I don’t necessarily disagree with this statement, but instead of dwelling on this I would like to explain why this feeling of helplessness, and this attitude of cynicism is not only unproductive, but is, in fact, exactly what has brought us to this dilemma.

            Those who accept themselves as victims of any kind will never be anything but victims. They will never do anything to fight back, resist, or change their situation; they simply accept defeat without even attempting to win. Here is a reality of life; sometimes we are dealt a bad hand, whether we are Christians or not. We can’t do anything about the hand we are dealt accept play it, and refusing to do so results in automatic loss. Therefore, play the hand the best you can, ask God for advisement, push yourself to learn everything you can about how to make the most of your situation, and then do something that the masses seem to refuse to do: try. I think that if people made a collective effort to try, rather than give up, it would be astonishing what we could actually accomplish by actively investing in our endeavors, rather than passively allowing life to steamroll over us, like a cheesy scene from Austin Powers (see link below.)

            Furthermore, as long as we believe that a genuine vote for what we believe in is pointless, it will be, because we won’t base our actions on our convictions. If you think your voice doesn’t matter, it never will, because you won’t dare to speak. Like faith, when we embark on action half-cocked we will more than likely fail, because we don’t actually believe in what we are doing. This is likely the reason that the two central presidential nominees are widely considered to be two of the worst candidates in history. Most people don’t actually believe in them, or want to see them win, not even people from their own party. Additionally, like with most things in life, when we base our motives on hatred and negativity, rather than love and hope, evil is only perpetuated.

            We all have a difficult choice ahead of us with the election, it’s true, and it’s very easy to not believe in any of the candidates. Still, these are the candidates we have, so here are the two things I would like to strongly encourage Americans (particularly Christian Americans, who are called to change the world around them) to do.

First: figure out what you believe. Put in some hard work, and really evaluate your positions on issues, rather than just accepting whatever you’ve been brought up to believe, or whatever the party you align with is preaching, because you may realize you don’t agree. Look to God to find your conviction if you haven’t, and if you have, reaffirm it, ensuring that the foundation of your beliefs are rooted in the Christian duties laid out in Micah 6:8, rather than the pressures of your fellow man.

Second: stand up for what you believe in, for the love of God. I truly believe that the convictions we find while striving to follow God are there for good reason, so don’t let fear, intimidation, and insecurity stop you from doing what you feel is right – even if everyone else tells you that you’re wrong – and move where God tells you to move. If you really believe in one of the candidates, vote for them, even if it’s someone you’ve been told doesn’t have a chance to win (they’ll never win if people who would vote for them are deterred from voting, anyway.) If you feel strongly that you shouldn’t even vote, then don’t vote. No matter what, find what you believe, and take a fearless stand; demonstrate conviction, because that is what changes the world. God doesn’t want us to mindlessly submit to our own demise. He wants us to make the world a better place – however possible, and whenever possible.

I understand that even if we all stand on our convictions, we may still face a dark road ahead. Even when you play your hand well, you sometimes loose. That said, my final message is this: regardless of what happens, continue your journey to have conviction, and fight for it. Be a champion for God, rather than a mere pawn of a fractured society, because if we sustain negativity, and we lose hope that the world can be healed, and become better, we will destroy the remaining lights God has on Earth – those we carry within ourselves.

 

Austin Powers - Steamroller Scene