When the ways of people please the Lord, he causes even their enemies to be at peace with them. -Proverbs 16:7.
If a king judges the poor with equity (fair & impartial), his throne will be established forever. -Proverbs 29:14.
Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven…And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. -Matthew 6:1-6.
Jesus said to his disciples, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But no so with you; rather the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like one who serves.” -Luke 22:25-26.
You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness. -James 1:19-20.
I don’t hear much talk these days about character.
Political figures are boiled down to their positions on health care, taxation, infrastructure, immigration, and other issues like that. But not character.
In the last few years I have looked for clues about the character of individuals. If they require a cabinet full of people to sing their praises, I immediately assume that something important is missing. Or if they pose in faux prayer or lift high a holy book. Again, I assume that character must need some propping up.
It’s the silent, lifestyle kinds of clues that I look for. An individual that can be seen, Bible daily present but not touted, or receiving a morning devotional on their cell phone from a respected pastor or that quotes scripture without giving attribution. Powerful but quiet flags that demonstrate a deep river of spiritual influence that flows through their life.
I don’t care if they’re Muslim, Jew, or Christian. That’s not why I vote for them. I do care, greatly, that they have a life informed by virtue and mystery. That don’t assume they, personally, are the pinnacle of insight and wisdom. Who call on wise people to inform their decisions.
I also care about the humanity of my elected official. Do they respect other people despite how those people may differ from them? Are they humble in posture, socially aware of the customs and mores of others? Do they give attention to little children? And how do they treat the people who work for them? I want to see someone who elevates others and speaks words of encouragement. Someone who belittles others has a serious character flaw; why do we tolerate that?
These are all character issues. I’d call them the lowest common denominator of what leadership requires. I don’t have a clue why people totally ignore these things, nor why they think that healthy governance can occur without them.
Seems like a slam-dunk to me.
Righteous God. Lover of the insignificant and alienated. I pray for our nation and for its soul. I pray that there will be a turn in the heart of our people so that they will learn to love a man or a woman that govenrns with integrity. That is transparent in their ways. That shows a connection to the holy and the mysterous. Who is not afraid to admit limitation. Give us those kinds of leader. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.