On the political trails, one hears comments such as “he did such-and-such and that disqualifies him from being such-and-such” or “she prevented such-and-such from happening by having such-and-such influence…and therefore she never be elected such-and-such.” I need to give my thoughts freedom on the subject of leadership. To begin, let us review the biblical record of five noteworthy men – two led the nation Israel, one saved a great city from destruction, and the last two are keenly responsible for the spread of Christianity in the Roman Empire and our understanding of it.
Moses had difficulties communicating (Ex. 4:10). In his youth in Egypt, he killed someone and “covered it up”(Ex. 2:11-12) the ran. Eventually, he suffered the consequences of this act (Deut. 32:48-52). He was known to have fits of anger and suffered from a lack of faith (Num. 20:7-13).
Jonah was a stubborn and disobedient (1:3). He was a belligerent complainer (4:1-3) that caused great difficulties not only for himself but, also for innocent sailors (1:4-9) who were not remotely responsible for his forced business trip to Nineveh.
David, the one referred to being “a man after God’s own heart” (1 Sam. 13:14), led a troubled life. He had difficulty telling the truth (2 Sam. 11:7-8, 12-13), with covetousness (2 Sam. 11:3), with stealing (2 Sam. 12:9), with adultery (2 Sam. 11:4), and he was a murderer (2 Sam. 11:17, 12:9). By my reckoning, that’s an infraction of half of our Ten Commandments.
Saul began his public life as a Pharisee and a persecutor of the early church (Acts 7:58, 8:3). After a change of heart and name to Paul (Acts 9:1-22) his attitude changed. Nevertheless, he was known for his temper (Acts 16:18), his arrogance (Acts 16:37), his disrespectful attitude towards others (Acts 23:3), and led a life fraught with risk taking (2 Cor. 11:24-27).
Peter, the so called “rock” (Matt. 16:18), was not exactly a scholar or a gentleman (Acts 4:13) at the start of his ministry. He was known to be irritable and angry (Jn. 18:10). These two led to a preponderance of hasty and, at times, rash (Luke 22:31-34) decisions.
Of course, all of these leaders had positive attributes. No person is perfectly bad. Chief among their positive characteristics was their overall faith and willingness to work with God to further His kingdom. That’s the rub. Which of our present day candidate(s) seems more open to God’s leading? Which candidate(s) do you think God prefers? These are difficult questions to answer, especially based on their highly checkered past.
History seems to suggest that good leaders of a society came from societies that were, generally speaking, good. And vise versa. Dickens penned something like “…every person living is a profound mystery…” Nevertheless, withstanding these bits as a backdrop, we must still decide. It would be useful to have knowledge of what makes these people really tick, unfortunately we can’t. Only God can (Ps. 44:17-21). We are left to ponder and especially to pray about it.