Politics, leadership, and today’s primary elections:
So here’s my challenge: I don’t want to ignore today’s primary elections – especially in two states I love so much (North Carolina and Florida) – but at the same time I don’t want to violate my “prime directive” as a writer, which is to honor the following counsel from Paul:
“Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” – Philippians 4:8
I have to be honest, I am seriously concerned at voting trends that seem to indicate receptivity to what is not honorable, what stands against justice, what is impure, what is anything but pleasing or commendable; trends that scoff at excellence and praise the unworthy.
SOLUTION: My solution, then, is to recommend that we approach this election by asking ourselves about the character we would like to see in our leaders, and then casting our ballots accordingly.
I prayed about this, and God brought the story of the prophet Samuel to mind. Samuel had been charged with the responsibility of anointing the next king, and he kept considering strong, tall, impressive-looking candidates. Eventually, God interrupted the process while Samuel was leaning toward yet another “can’t miss” contender….
When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is now before the Lord.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for theLord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:6-7
“Humans see only what is visible to the eyes,” the CEB translates, “but the Lord sees into the heart.”
LEADERSHIP – POTUS: Listen carefully. I’m not telling you who you should vote for; but I am recommending that we all ask God to help us see into the hearts of the men and women we are considering for the high calling of serving as POTUS.
“But we’re talking about leadership here,” one man recently insisted. “America needs someone who is willing to tell it like it is, to put those (members of the other party) in their place, and to kick butt when necessary…”
I don’t know about you, but when I think of leadership I think of inspiration, of courage, of encouragement, of calling out the best in all of us, of personal self-sacrifice, of consensus-building; I think of someone with the heart of a servant and with the strength of a lion.
Those are the qualities I want us to consider when we caste our ballot.
THE THREE QUESTIONS: Now, if you’re like me and you tend to turn to God for direction in everything that you do, then listen again to the words of God as declared by the prophet Micah. “He has told you, O mortal (O voter… O presidential candidate) what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” – Micah 6:8
- How does your candidate look when it comes to doing justice?
- How does your choice for president come across in terms of kindness?
- What is the evidence that the one you plan to vote for walks humbly with God?
These are good questions, and I have more – DEREK