Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Voting with Grace

Did you vote today? I sure hope so. Voting is a great privilege afforded to us by our Constitution.

 My Momma Voted Today!


That being said, did you vote with grace?

What do I mean?

I mean, did you graciously disagree with your candidate's opponent, by casting a ballot against them?

It is so simple, really, to handle disagreements graciously, yet one wouldn't know it from the distasteful political ads being run throughout the country. In my opinion, it the negative ads that keep so many people away from the polls.

And, if I must be honest, even my own candidates were guilty of slinging a handful of mud or two.

But why? The pollsters and researchers say that negative ads are effective, but want to know what is even more effective?

Grace.

"One of the marks of maturity is the ability to disagree without becoming disagreeable. It takes grace. In fact, handling disagreements with tact is one of the crowning achievements of grace." Charles R. Swindoll, The Grace Awakening, pg. 159.

I learned this lesson early on. And while I am definitely not perfect at handling disagreements with grace, I did get a lot of practice from working in the service industries.

My first job, while still in high school, was at Burger King. I then moved "up" to waitressing, but the commonality between those two jobs was always customer satisfaction. As employees, we were taught the motto, and expected to serve it up with a smile that, the customer is always right (even if they were wrong!).

But my greatest teacher of grace, ironically, was a United States Senator. Upon graduation from college (poli sci major), I accepted a job working for U.S. Senator Kit Bond. It was during those four years as a Senate Staffer that I learned the meaning of grace under fire. And oh, my, several of Kit's votes threw fuel on the fire! I was taught to answer the phones, accept the messages from the constituents, not argue back, and graciously thank them for their call. Gulp.

It was a wonderful education on the lesson of "graciously disagreeing and pressing on" and I was only able to do so through the gift of God's grace.

Speaking of which, last week I read The Grace Awakening by Charles R. Swindoll. Originally published in 1990, it has recently been rereleased. I found it to be a captivating read and am excited about the thirty-day devotional that is included in the back of the book. Swindoll talks about "grace killers" in the church and our daily lives, and with the election looming, couldn't help but to think of our own politicians. Don't their negative ads kill any zest or drive to serve in public office?

And just a word about bloggers...have you ever happened upon a blog that is (or isn't) political in nature, but oozes negativity? I think that these bloggers have the best of intentions...wanting to urge readers to take up a certain cause, vote a particular way, in essence see their point of view and vote accordingly, but often they let their sharp tongue and harsh words get the best of them. As Swindoll states, "It costs no more, and it takes only a little more time to express your disagreements in tactful and gracious ways..." (Swindoll, pg. 161)

It is my prayer that, tonight, as election returns pour in... that losers may accept defeat graciously, winners accept success even MORE graciously, and that those sent to Washington, our statehouses, benches (judges), etc. set to work studying, writing, and voting on legislation/rulings that are for the good of our country and its people.

Blessings to you all,


3 comments:

  1. It will be an interesting night tonight. I have no idea how things are going to go.
    The ability to vote is such a gift! You are setting a great example to your kids!

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  2. The ability to vote ranks right up there for me with the right to worship the trilogy for me. Very important indeed.
    Tammy

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  3. I couldn't agree with you more. I was getting so tired of the political ads for that same reason.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. Your kind words are appreciated! As Mother Teresa said, "Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love."

Valerie