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Thursday, March 3, 2016

How to spot a good leader

When looking for a leader for our country, one of the hallmarks of a great "find" in a leader is this idea of the pursuit of justice - the ability and willingness to adhere to strong ethical and moral principles.  As I look around, listen to TV ads, and get phone surveyed to death, it is quite possible we have veered from this a little in how it is we have come to judge those who will fulfill positions of leadership within our country, companies, or even our community.  The position of leadership in any venue - church, state, or even over a country - should not be pursued with haste, or without careful preparation and what some may call "soul-searching". Why?  Where the leader goes, so goes those they lead. 

Whoever pursues justice and treats others with kindness discovers true life marked by integrity and respect.  One wise person can rise against a city of mighty men and cause the citadel they trust to collapse. (Proverbs 21:21-22 VOICE)

It is often an overlooked fact that we all follow someone - even if we think we are kind of independent and have it all "figured out" for ourselves.  We all have either seen or are seeing some example in this life of ours, good or bad, which we somehow pattern our actions after in one way or another. We may not think this to be the case, but I challenge you to even consider how you learned to add two numbers together. Most of us don't come out of the womb able to add two numbers and come up with the correct sum. It takes some work on someone's part to help us understand two apples and two oranges equal four pieces of fruit.  Eat one and we are left with three.  Blend them together and we still have four pieces of fruit - just in a different form!  We can see this example and the next - but if we aren't "selective" about which ones we follow, we will be like the blended fruit - a conglomeration of all of what we see and hear!

Pursue the right examples and we are more likely to pursue the right actions on our part later on.  Why?  We model behavior - like it or not.  What media outlets everywhere hope for is that we will see an ad, like what we see (or at least be a little curious about it), then get it or try it out.  They are selling a product - a line of goods, an image, etc.  They "market" what they have created.  If a man or woman of God realizes it, they are "marketing" what God has created. The grace-transformed life you live as a result of having said "yes" to Jesus is simply a canvas upon which God is able to display his beauty, mercy, and love.  If we want to be positive examples in this world - positive leaders others will follow - we begin by pursuing justice (right moral conduct guiding our decisions) and kindness (right actions from a gentle spirit). Even if we don't consider ourselves as "leaders" in the sense some may define as being in a "leadership role", we ALL lead someone - we may not even recognize who it is that eyes us with the intention of following our example!

One one wise person - one person willing to submit his or her life to the influence of Jesus - is capable of setting a city right. That may not seem possible, but I believe it to be so - it takes but one good leader to rise up, live above what others may tolerate, and look beyond one's own self to see the needs of those around them.  Leaders are not elevated to places of greatness - they humbly serve others and find their place of greatness not in position or power, but in extending justice and kindness in the everyday circumstances of life lived out with others.  Just sayin!