The election season is in full swing in America. You can’t turn on the radio or television without being bombarded by advertisements and news stories about the various candidates. Each person running for office is doing all they can to persuade you to vote for them over someone else. As people who desire to be followers of Jesus, we face these same choices every day. As we go throughout our lives, we are accosted by temptations that plead with us to vote for them. We must decide where we will place our trust: will it be in Jesus or on the pleasures of this world?
Every moment of our lives we enter the voting booth to pull the lever for either Jesus or Satan. Jesus gently calls us to follow Him; Satan manipulates and twists our desires to satisfy ourselves instead. You couldn’t have two candidates more diametrically opposed to one another. There are a couple of easy tests to determine for whom you will vote. One is the “checkbook test” and the other is the “calendar test”.
- The Checkbook Test – As you look through your checkbook (or Quicken, Mint, your Bank Statements, or however you track the money you spend), add up the amount of money you have spent over the last 30 days. Then take a second pass and add up the money you spent on things that have eternal value. In other words, how much money did you spend on feeding the hungry, caring for the poor and the sick or helping out someone in need? Go through your numbers one more time, and add up all the money you spent to satisfy your own wants and desires. These would be things like going out to dinner, a flat screen TV, your cable bill, snacks from the vending machine, video games, gambling, concert tickets, etc. You get the picture. When you’re done, compare how much you spent on yourself vs. how much you spent on Kingdom work. What percentage of the income God has entrusted you to manage are you spending for His purposes, and what percentage are you spending on your own. In other words, for whom does your checkbook say you are voting?
- The Calendar Test – If you completed the checkbook test above, the calendar test will be very easy for you. Just like the checkbook test, add up the hours you had available to you in the last month (hint: in a 30 day month, that would be 720 hours). Now, add up all the appointments you had that were spent doing something that furthered the mission of Christ. Then add up all the hours you spent promoting your own mission. As above, compare the totals and determine what percentage of your time is spent working for Christ’s glory, and how much is spent working for your own. Looking at the time you spent in the last 30 days, for whom does your calendar say you are voting?
These are two simple tests to determine the true desires of our heart. We say we are followers of Christ, but do the things on which we spend our money back up that claim? We declare that He is the Lord of our lives, but does our allocation of time dictate otherwise? Every second of every minute of every hour of every day we must decide to follow Christ or pursue our own selfish desires. Every penny of every dollar that is entrusted to our care carries the choice of spending it in ways that honor God or honors ourselves. Jesus whispers your name and calls you to follow Him. Satan brashly displays all you could have if you would simply look the other way and ignore the words of Jesus. The choice is ours. For whom will you vote?