It was the great British Prime Minister Margret Thatcher (known by friend and foe as “The Iron Lady”) who said, “Consensus is the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values, and policies in search of something in which no one believes, but to which no one objects; the process of avoiding the very issues that have to be solved, merely because you cannot get agreement on the way ahead. What great cause would have been fought and won under the banner: ‘I stand for consensus?'” Her powerful statement, and even more powerful example, is illustrative of the type of leadership that is so severely lacking, yet so desperately needed in America!
In about fifteen months, Americans will walk into voting booths to select a new leader of the “most powerful nation in the world.” Many will make their choice on the basis of the candidate’s educational background, political expertise, business savvy, physical attributes, foreign policy experience, or voting record–all of which are important! However, what are the characteristics/qualities that are MOST important? As a preacher of the gospel for over 31 years, and one who has been an incessant student of leadership, I am most interested in what God says is vital for successful leadership! To discover that, we must turn to the pages of Scripture.
2 Samuel 23:3, says clearly, “He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.” In that simple, yet incredibly profound statement, two over-arching qualities emerge. The leader God honors must be, first and foremost, a “just” man. The “justness” spoken of here is a sense of what is equitable. Actually, the term is typically used of weights and measurements. The weight was a standard by which amounts were measured. That standard was not to be manipulated so as to render a false measurement. So, the leader that God will honor must set a high standard, God’s standard, in how he conducts his personal and public life! It would be completely inconceivable that such a leader could/would remain silent relative to, much less endorse, the kind of horrific actions that have been perpetrated by Planned Parenthood–actions that have come to light in recently release videos! No, the right kind of leader would be incensed at such insensitivity and violent disregard for human life–incensed enough to actually do something about it!
The most over-arching requirement the Scriptures present for a qualified leader is a wholesome “fear” of God! The “fear” spoken of here can mean a healthy reverence for God. But, it can definitely mean much more. The idea communicated is that of one who solemnly realizes that there is One to whom he will one day give an accounting–One to whom he MUST answer! The leader who believes that he answers to no one, including, and especially, God, is wholly unfit for leadership!
While not all of our nation’s founders were committed followers of Jesus Christ, they all did share one common trait. They had a healthy understanding that they would answer to the Holy One for what they did! Tragically, the halls of government in the United States are filled with individuals who not only don’t fear God, they defy Him at every turn! They never seek His face for the requisite wisdom to govern in an equitable fashion. They seldom, if ever, even acknowledge His presence, much less His governorship in the affairs of men!
So, as you contemplate the multiplicity of candidates who will vie for the White House and for whom you should cast a ballot, go to the only leadership manual that really matters–the Holy Bible! Apart from electing a leader with whom God is pleased, we will but perpetuate the very things that have led us to the dangerous precipice at which we currently find ourselves!
President, HOPE Ministries International
President, North Carolina Pastors Network (NCPN)