Many voting Americans still are dealing with the disappointment that their candidates didn't win. If this election left your political dreams thwarted, take heart. There is a chance to vote again.
No, don't worry. I'm not promoting voter fraud. I'm suggesting that you vote with your actions because the best place for people of faith to make a difference will never be in the voting booth; it will be in places of service like churches, schools, hospitals and homeless shelters.
Go to these places and you will meet spiritual people who vote with their caring actions. They effect transformation with love, not with placards and slogans. In these places, you won't hear a child ask a teacher whether they are Democrat or Republican. You'll not hear a patient reject his nurse over her political persuasion. You won't find anyone withholding a warm blanket from a homeless person because he or she voted for the opposing candidate.
In other words, positive actions speak much louder than votes, because good always stands on its own.
The Apostle Paul made a similar point when the residents of Crete expressed disappointment in their ruling officials. Crete was a much more rowdy island than it is today. In those days, the inhabitants lived under Roman rule and were notorious for their seditious solutions to political problems. When Paul caught word that church folk were considering joining the political dark side, he fired off a short note to the island pastor, a guy named Titus. In his note, Paul encouraged people to avoid the conflict by being “ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.”
That wasn't easy advice to follow on Crete. Islanders had an attitude problem that Polybius, a Greek historian, described as “revolutionary in spirit.”
Like many people today, I'm sure they felt they had good reasons to revolt, but Paul continued through his short letter to stress the importance of “loving what is good ... teaching what is good” and “doing whatever is good.”
The point is well taken — a government leader is no better than the people he or she leads. Come Election Day, it will never be the winner that makes the biggest difference; it will be spiritual people who continue to vote over and over again through their good works.
In the upcoming months and years that follow this election, let us remember that the “votes” that will make the biggest difference will be those cast through the heroic acts of a soldier, the selfless service of a health worker, and the lasting instruction of a teacher.
Media focus in the past few months has been over divisions. Now it's time to refocus. It's time to look at the things that define us, hold us and unite us. Good things will always do that. At the end of the day, not everyone will agree with the winners' values or their policies, but it will be those who choose to do the right things in life that will always get my vote.
Norris Burkes is a syndicated columnist, national speaker and author of “No Small Miracles.” He also serves as an Air National Guard chaplain and is board-certified in the Association of Professional Chaplains. Visit thechaplain.net.