Sunday, November 22

Choosing Candidates for Public Office

Election time is fast approaching. Have you made up your mind who among the many candidates you will vote for? What would be your criteria for choosing your candidates?

It is so sad that there are self-seeking interests and ambition within the government and even in the church. People are seeking to play king, obsessed for position and recognition by others. Such self-serving interests and ambition often lead affluent candidates to place advertisements and hold press conferences to gain influence in an attempt to promote their own agenda. Sadly, these advertisements and press conferences often result in spreading rumors and tearing others down in an attempt at self-promotion.

These people think they have the gift of saving people. They see it as their calling to save all the poor, and enrich their lives. But most often such people have hidden agenda behind their actions. It’s not really love at all, but a way to promote themselves.

Although the call to serve is universal, some of us may have the wrong idea of service. We do not need to hold public office to be able to serve people. We do not need to have a title or position to serve our neighbors in need. We only are required to fulfill the duties placed before us by God in whatever state of life we are in with great love for God and our neighbor. We can give life to that love by doing our ordinary duties extraordinarily well for God’s glory. We can volunteer for ministries in the church or any non-government organization. We have to keep our eyes open to the needs of the world around us.

One has to mind his own life and affairs first, and it would involve getting one’s spiritual life in order, getting the planks out of one’s own eye that one might have the ability to help others in their failures and difficulties. How do we know who among these candidates who openly declare that they love the Filipino people so much are sincere? What we need to see is faithfulness—lives that back up their job or business with works and a walk consistent with their talk.

We cannot trust somebody who does not truly love God. How can somebody say that he loves God whom he does not see when he cannot sincerely love his neighbors whom he sees? How can somebody who cannot remain faithful with his/her spouse be faithful with the whole Filipino nation?

Who are those who, as children of the light, walk after the example of the Lord Jesus Christ? Who are those who abide in Christ by faith and walk in the pursuit of growth in love and holiness? Who are those with a real heart of service for the poor without any vested interest? Who are those who do not exploit and use the poor for their own self-seeking ambition? People who really love God are those people who obey and try to please Him in whatever they say and do, with or without any press people watching.

John Paul II said, “The deepest joy there is in life is the joy that comes from God, and is found in Jesus Christ.” We can find joy in serving God and ministering to His people. John 10:10 says, “I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” An abundant life is a life of love and holiness. A life of love and holiness is a life shared with others in service, not necessarily having the highest office in the government.

Exercising our right to vote is no joke. It comes with a big responsibility. The future of our nation especially the younger generation is in our hands. Let us pray hard. God uses emotions and conscience to speak to us. Come election time, listen to your heart, then go out and vote.