January 14, 2014
I want to make a confession about my political interests. I don’t like opinion polls and the way are constantly bombarded with the “approval ratings” of how the President or Congress is handling the economy, or the war on terrorism, or whatever. I am not at all interested in results of polls concerning who should be the next governor of Michigan, either! These polls and their political agendas are thrown at us with the hope that they will let us know if our candidates or leaders are popular or not. When George Bush was president, his aides would tell media (in response to a question posed to them about the President’s response to the latest poll) – “the President doesn’t’ read opinion polls.” I love that! That is leadership exemplified. President Harry S. Truman was quoted to have said, “How far would Moses have gone if he had taken a poll in Egypt?”
There are far too many people in leadership who are concerned about doing what other people want them to do, rather than what people need! I find great truths in Scripture that God is not looking out for our “Christmas lists” and “lifetime dream lists,” but rather, our desperate need to be holy and conformed to the image of His Son. He works everything out for that good – Romans 8:28-29. Leaders are often absorbed with “doing things right,” never stopping to ask the greater question: “are we doing the right things?”
This applies to almost every area in our lives. I lead my family. I must supply the boundaries, love, feedback, and discipline my family needs in order to be the best they can be. They NEED those boundaries and I don’t ask them to create them. I don’t ask them what things they need to be happy in the world or well-developed.
Educationally, this means we cannot simply convey facts to a bunch of kids about whom we do not care or have concern. Too many educators in America today (certainly not on the Grace campus) are more interested in rushing to get everything “covered” before the semester ends rather than seeing themselves in leadership roles making them responsible to serve their students and assist in their character development, which is so necessary in order for them to live successful lives.
Long ago, Theodore Roosevelt said, “To educate a person in mind but not in morals is to educate a menace to society.” Remember, that as we bring sophistication and intellect along yet leave the heart and life alone, we only enable evil and malice to be done more effectively.
In our churches we must speak to the issues of our day which are needed most and not be so concerned about “filling the seats” or “gaining offerings” which will build our position of leadership. Character and leadership are both about doing the right thing. Let’s do the right thing – no matter what the personal cost.
God has put every one of us in a position to influence and lead others. How are the people doing whom God has given you to lead? Are they becoming better people – learning to do the right thing and doing it? That’s the test of our effectiveness and sacred trust from God!