Live not for bad things,
Live not for thoughts vile.
Live not for wicked wings,
Live not for an unholy smile.
Live for the Lord God daily,
Live for Christ Jesus in truth.
Live for the Gospel truly,
Live for abundantly bearing fruit.
Live not for vanity,
Live not for timidity.
Live not for speaking profanity,
Live not for spiritual rancidity.
Live to see the glory of God,
Live to see his Holy face.
Live to see Christ rule with his rod,
Live to see the kingdom grow in grace.
Votes are taken not just in a democracy. You also have them in socialism, classrooms, trade unions, sports governing bodies etc. This is done to select a main leader or a set of leaders. Generally voting involves assessing the strengths and the merits of the people standing up for the election. But not always.
Sympathy Vote (definition): an occasion when a lot of people vote for or support a particular person because he or she has suffered recently.(source: dictionary.cambridge.org)
There are people in various walks of life who end up giving Sympathy votes to a candidate just because the other candidate who was contesting the elections against him or her ended up using insulting language against him or her. This is a very foolish practice and let me explain why.
Such people believe that they are punishing the abusive candidate by electing the non abusive candidate instead. This is where the overzealous ‘do not judge’ folks are surprisingly silent about such things. Why not leave the punishment to God instead? And also if you want to ‘punish’ the abusive candidate why not ask from his or her disqualification from the election? Isn’t that more ethical?
The fallacy of the Sympathy Vote is that a person who previously had little or no merit to win the votes, suddenly obtains votes which he or she was not going to get under normal circumstances. Such a person doesn’t even need to promise development or anything good for the people who vote. All they need to do is play the victim card well.
Then after they get to power by virtue of being elected, they may turn to be even worse than the abusive candidate. And the people act shocked as to how did that come to happen. I’ll say it’s because they never bothered to check if the person whom they elected is fit to perform the job or receive the honour that they are supposed to. I still maintain the candidate who tricked the people by putting on a nice initial behaviour is totally responsible for his or her actions later on.
However, I don’t entirely put the blame on such a Sympathy Vote candidate. I’d blame the people who selected him or her even more. No where in the Word of God are the people told to give up their discernment (checking things up) for what so ever reason, which includes the occasions where Sympathy Votes are solicited.
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. (1 John 4:1-3)
The above Bible verses are not just talking about evil spirits alone. These also point out that the human spirit too needs to be tested. So why not discern as to which man or woman is God sent and which ones are not? It’ll save you a lot of trouble and effort if you select the right person at the right time. Do not be a simpleton! But rather be prudent in all you do.
The simple believes everything, but the prudent gives thought to his steps. (Proverbs 14:15)
Though the Sympathy Vote is seen more in a political context, I’d say that is not the only arena of life to be careful about. Often in the religious world (or let me use the term ‘the Christian world), there are instances of Sympathy Votes. I don’t know where, when or how you may have to use such discernment in the religious world but when and if you do, remember that Bible doesn’t encourage Sympathy Votes.
I myself have to come to know of one such instance in a Christian circle, where there was an election of a high ranking clergy person among various contenders. Just because it went down to the final two and both of them were in strong contention to win, one of them despite being over forty years old, end up using the most disgusting language to belittle the other candidate. Immediately, the next time the lots were cast, the candidate who was insulted won the high rank and the abusive candidate when sent away to a far away place, another continent!
In due course of time, this pleasant mannered person who won the religious elections discreetly stole from the church funds and later on also started using profane language. So as a result after a few years that person was relieved of the high rank in the church structure. (On a side note, I now realize that just because someone has grown in age doesn’t necessarily mean they grow in manners too). If that election were happen now with the same two candidates it would be best to cancel the election and wait it out till things settle down instead of selecting ‘the lesser of two evils’ on the spur of the moment.
And, to set the record straight, the Bible never ever tells us to choose ‘the lesser of two evils’. If fact if you choose the lesser of two evils you are still choosing evil. Avoid the Sympathy Vote and live well!
I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. (Revelation 2:2)
The Holy scripture in 1 Thessalonians 5:19 says; Quench not the Spirit.
Obviously we are not to put out the fire of Holy Spirit in any person or place. However we must also take care no one quenches our spirit when its glowing for Christ.
For example, Miss Jane is a devout believer of Christ. She attends church services and volunteers at an orphanage about 8 hours a week. Tim who is jealous of her, foolishly questions her motives saying, “are you doing all this to get noticed by your church community instead of serving God in private?” This seems a legit question except that this question was asked in front of most of the congregation to make her feel guilty. Miss Jane feels embarrassed and laughs it off saying she is doing it for God. However such a foolish question has secretly caused her to feel guilty every time she is at the orphanage. She wonders is she really a good person in the eyes of others. Slowly she has plans to give up on her good works for God.
Miss Jane decides to formalize her exit from volunteering at the orphanage. Here’s where Dr. Henry, the leader at the orphanage hears her whole case on this. He then requests her to not leave but go on a short break of a month to get her mind cleared on this. Now the doctor is not happy about this. So Dr. Henry traces Tim and tells him to stop being a hindrance to the will of God. Tim doesn’t reply politely but ends up using foul language. So then this gets reported all across Jane’s Christian community. It manifests Tim’s true nature of deceitfulness to all. This ends Jane’s guilt and she decides to continue in her good work of helping in the orphanage.
Though the above example, is just a made up example, we can all relate to this in some way. There may be a difference, you don’t always get a Dr Henry type of a guy to fight for you. This is where you must be willing to handle all spirit quenchers yourself before you lose your fire for God.
Spirit quenchers are of many types. Some doubt a new prophecy even before it can stand the test of the word of God. Then we have the naysayers, who deny that anything good will come to you even if others got good things from Jesus. There are sceptical people who behave like functional atheists and say that signs and wonders, healing, miracle’s, praying in tongues have ceased to exist. Also there are people who proclaim every Christian who does good work as a selfish person without even checking facts. These are judgmental hypocrites who themselves won’t help a suffering child in need.
So when faced with such spirit quenchers avoid them. If they keep going on then rebuke them. In the way they question your motives question them back. Don’t assume that your silence is going to always settle things.
If a spirit quencher is a Church goer, you can use the following scriptural principle mentioned in Matthew 18:15-17 which Jesus said, “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and
a tax collector.
Now if you are dealing with a person who is not a Christian then there are different tactics to use. Don’t get taken up by their negative or deceitful opinions about your faith and the works that you are doing for Jesus. You need to concern yourself with the righteousness of Christ. By your confession unto the Lord Jesus you have received His righteousness. Don’t let anyone snub you out of it.
Keep away from them. If they still come to you then reject their lies right in front of them. These have foolish theories about the Christian faith and its principles. Leave them to their logic which in the end will bite them like a snake. They may have foolish questions to trap you and induce unbelief. So, tell them to refer to all Christian apologetics websites which are more than willing to take on their ‘rational’ questions. You may have to be assertive when dealing with them. There is no need for you to say sorry for ‘offending’ them by you just trusting in Jesus.
If they use vulgar language, just tell them to stop it. Don’t use crude language yourself. You must face them with courage. Tell them “this conversation is going nowhere so it’s not helping anyone if you continue to speak like this”. However if they don’t stop using bad language then report them with due evidence to the relevant authorities. Don’t bother to attempt to win them to Christ if they seem to blaspheme the Holy Spirit for by that sin there’s no chance for them to receive salvation.
With all this being said make sure you don’t get upset by their behavior. Instead thank the Lord Jesus for your salvation. Pray for such spirit quenchers in private before God especially for their conversion. However also pray that you don’t lose your hope in Christ. Always let the fire of Holy Spirit grow more stronger in your heart and mind.
God bless you and Christ be with you. Be guided by the Holy Spirit. Amen.