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A good leader...

Who in your community is understanding and wise? Let his example, which is marked by wisdom and gentleness, blaze a trail for others.  (James 3:13 VOICE)
Gentleness is often an overlooked character trait in today's leaders. We expect wisdom - otherwise they probably couldn't do the job. Wisdom is the ability to apply the knowledge we have gained - making in practical to us. A good leader will be able to take what he or she knows in their mind and hearts and apply it to the situation at hand. Some leaders just apply what they know in their minds and forget about the heart.  A good leader considers both!
Wisdom and understanding - knowing in the mind, listening to the heart, and then applying what you know is right, sound, and of good value in the situation. We might think one thing, but when we consider it with our heart, we sometimes find ourselves holding back or just not going down that path all together. Why? Wisdom demands balance between the cold, hard facts and the impact those facts will bring to bear on the situation at hand.
Recently, a large smartphone manufacturer released a device which almost immediately began having problems with the battery contained in it. They have had to issue a "cease and desist" request of all those who bought the device - recalling all of those devices. In the large retail market, it is possible we mean well with the thing we produce, but when it begins to impact lives in a negative manner, we might just have to rework our design! The mind can conceive the billions in profits, but the heart knows the design is flawed and must be reworked.
The examples we are to follow tap into both - the strength of knowledge and the gentleness of knowing how to use the knowledge for the betterment of all concerned. As a young Christian, I possessed the knowledge - it took me a while to realize you didn't win souls by beating them over the head with it, though! Gentleness is what makes truth "palatable" - we are less reluctant to consider the value of truth when we find it presented in a way which reflects from a heart connected solidly to the one who is all truth.
We are to seek out these examples - using them to help us walk stronger and be as united in our walk with each other as is humanly possible. Things which normally divide a community need not be the issues of focus when we begin to be led by leaders who exemplify both wisdom and gentleness. Even totally radical ideas can be presented in a way that doesn't incite riots and unrest - when the leader is both wise and gentle in how these ideas can become the pervasive culture of our society.
Good leaders blaze the trail - they set the course. We don't just want leaders with good ideas - we also want them to be able to walk the talk!  We need to know they say what they mean, mean what they say, and have a connection between the "smarts" they possess and the ability to apply those smarts to the needs of our society today. Let us pray for leaders of this caliber and seek to align ourselves with their purpose.  Just sayin!


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