So I will say upfront that the purpose of this post is not to tell you how to vote, but rather to serve as a passionate plea to vote. Voting is not something we can take for granted. Many have fought, bled and even died so that we all could have equal voting rights. There is absolutely no excuse one can make to squander that right.


Deuteronomy 1:13 says to “choose for your tribes wise, understanding, and experienced men and I will appoint them as your heads.” This was the guidance that Moses gave to the people of Israel as they set out to identify leaders amongst themselves. I think it is advice worth considering today as we go to the polls so let’s explore these traits a bit more.


Wise – A wise person is one who has knowledge and good judgment.  When voting, look at the background of the candidates. Examine their education, job history, and previous elected positions.  Look at their judgment. Consistent signs of poor judgment is a sure sign of poor leadership.


Understanding – A true leader is one who is keenly aware of others’ feelings and has the ability to show compassion and empathy when needed.  The Hebrew word for understanding used in this Scripture means to discern, be prudent, to care for and to have skill and insight. Does the candidate have a heart and emotional intelligence?


Experienced – This word overlaps a bit with the others but I think it emphasizes the importance of overall experience including life experience. There is wisdom that comes from life experiences.  When someone has had to overcome something they gain wisdom from that experience.  When someone has had to deal with challenges they learn the importance of transparency and how to have empathy for others who are suffering. What are the candidate’s life experiences and how does that inform who they are?


This may seem like a lot to evaluate when choosing a candidate, but I think one of my favorite quotes summarizes it all.  Maya Angelou said that “when someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”  The candidates show us who they are every time they open their mouths. They show us who they are with what they do say and maybe more importantly with what they don’t say or speak out against. They show us who they are by their actions.  You cannot hide genuine wisdom, understanding and experience.  When they show us who they really are, believe them!



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