One of my relatives got very upset at me when I told him the other day that I didn't vote in the last election because I thought it was a waste of time. I admit I'm cynical about politics and politicians, but he said I have a God-given responsibility to vote. Is he right? — M.McN.
It may be obvious but it's true nevertheless: If everyone stayed home from the polls and neglected to vote (as you did), our system of government soon would come to an end. Eventually we would lose our freedoms and end up with some type of dictatorship. Do you honestly want that to happen?
I have been privileged to know many political leaders over the years, and the more I got to know them the more convinced I became that the vast majority were hardworking and honest men and women who sincerely wanted to do what is right. They weren't perfect, and sometimes they made mistakes—but our society would be far worse without them.
The Bible says that "The authorities that exist have been established by God" (Romans 13:1). This means that government is not a human invention, but God designed it and established it for our good. This is one reason I believe we have a God-given obligation to vote, and to work in other ways for our society.
One of the most important ways we can influence our world is by praying for our leaders. The Bible tells us to pray "for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness" (1 Timothy 2:2). Put Christ first in your life, and then ask Him to help you take your responsibilities as a citizen seriously, as He leads you.