Pastor Jeff’s Corner for October: “Praise From The Pulpit”

I read somewhere that politics is what happens when people try to get something done together. That sounds pretty productive
and good to me on the surface. But we’ve all heard the saying; “you-know who is in the details.”

Over the past twenty two years, I’ve been approached by several organizations that wanted to place political voting guides in our
church to “help” people decide who to vote for. I typically don’t like those guides because I believe congregations are pretty astute in selecting their own leaders and I don’t use the pulpit to tell others who they should support in an election.

However, I would like to offer some insight into what the Bible says about qualities we should look for in our leaders and that we are supposed to invest in our civic duties. So that’s where I’ll spend some time with this article and I invite you to search the scriptures for God’s guidance too.

The best example in leadership I believe is found in the servant-leader known to the world as Jesus Christ. Yes, He is the Son of God, but, He lived as a human here and definitely experienced the best and worst humanity has to offer. He organized and led a team of 12; He was responsible for training them and beginning a large-scale movement; and He was a
master at sharing a narrative people needed to hear. He also was in the presence of rich and poor alike and though a king, He followed the golden rule and gave the ultimate sacrifice for all of humanity.

Scripture on leadership characteristics can be found in places like 1 Timothy 3 1“Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. 2Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.” Reflecting on this passage we should ask ourselves if the leader we want to vote for is living up to these standards? Israel was charged with selecting leaders in Deuteronomy 1 13“Choose some wise, understanding and respected men from each of your tribes, and I will set them over you.”

Our attendance to civic duties, like serving in leadership or voting for leaders, are a part of the good citizenship model. Another such civic duty was modeled by Jesus’s parents when they attended to the census taken in their town (Luke 2:1) as so ordered by Emperor Caesar Augustus. I remember a popular leader from the 60’s that poised the question; “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” (John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address)

As in all important decisions, prayer and seeking God’s wisdom is an important component for us to include in our deliberations. I am reminded that the representation of all citizens is a worthy Christian attitude in selecting or serving as a leader. It should not be about who might satisfy our own personal agenda. This is a transferable gospel concept as we read in Philippians 2 3“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4not looking to your own
interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”

Living and serving with Jesus as our model, honors God and can guide us to make good decisions pertaining to the selection of our leaders and in the awesome responsibility of serving as a leader if that opportunity should present itself. Voting is one way we can fulfill our civic duty and lend our voice in the democratic process of this beautiful country we call home. We will shine as a nation when we reshape our earlier quote to; Jesus is in the details!

God loves you and so do I,
Pastor Jeff

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