Tag Archives: President

Benchmark

What makes a good president?  We are awash with opinions about the Obama presidency and prejudgments about what Trump might do.  But what are the standards by which those opinions are formed?  I don’t believe such standards should be based primarily on political preferences.  We’ve had great presidents from both sides of the aisle.  Let me suggest a benchmark taken from Psalm 89, a declaration of praise addressed to God.

14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne;
love and faithfulness go before you.  (Psalms 89:14)

If I could have my “druthers,”  I’d like a president whose claim to leadership authority was based on a solid foundation of righteousness and justice, both of which preclude favoritism.  I’d like a president who was known for how sincerely he or she loved, one known for being absolutely faithful.  I’d like a president who bore the character of God.

Of course I understand we humans don’t measure up.  But more than party leanings, those are the benchmarks I measure by as I wait for the arrival of the King of Kings.  May God truly bless, guide and protect all of our leaders and develop a greater sense of understanding among all the people of this nation.

Help

Nobody know which President said it first, but Abraham Lincoln, at his second inauguration, after taking the oath of office, added, “So help me God.”   I believe we are better served by a President who seeks and receives Divine help.  Especially in bestowing His kind of wisdom.

As you prepare to vote, consider the difference between worldly wisdom and godly wisdom as explained by Jesus’ brother, James:

“Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”  (James 3:13-18)

From where I sit, we have weeded out all the candidates open to godly wisdom.  

So help us God.

Who to Vote For

Don’t pay much attention to what the candidates say they will do.  Most don’t or cannot do most of what they’ve promised.  They have no way to know the circumstances they will really face.  Instead, consider their character.  Leaders tend to lead in the direction of the path they have consistently taken in life.  When you vote for a new President, or any other government position, you vote to have the country resemble the character of that person.  At the time of this writing, our two front runners are known for dishonesty and greed – not character traits most of us hope will shape our nation’s reputation.

Want a list of character traits to avoid and ones to support?  Consider these two lists, taken from the letter to the Galatians in the Bible.  Paul contrasts those motivated by “the flesh”   –  by which he means those who operate by the rules and impulses of the world  –  and those who take their cues from God’s Spirit.

Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, …  

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; … (Galatians 5:19–23 – excerpts)

Which set of character traits do you want in those who lead our country?  Which candidates resemble the list you chose?  Vote for them.

Please join me in praying for wisdom to prevail among voters.

What Corrupts Government

Two words explain the root of what is wrong with our government.  You thought I was going to say Republican and Democrat.  Sorry…   Good guess, but those aren’t the two I was thinking of.  And it’s not just our government.  These two words define the problem with every system of government.  Which two?  Selfish ambition.  The reason governments don’t work well is that those who gravitate to positions of authority over others tend to be people who are ambitious and selfish.  Of course I’m not talking about your favorite leader.  But I am talking about the majority of those who claw their way up into positions of influence and power.  Consider this:

“But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” (James 3:14-16)

In the United States, our leaders are supposed to represent and serve the people.  Too often they behave as though the people are supposed to serve them.  But the same root problem exists in repressive dictatorships.  The people who manage to get to the top tend to be self-centered and driven.  That’s not the kind of personality that works best to govern.

Imagine if our governments were filled with people who were described like this:

“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness. “ (James 3:17-18, NIV)

Next time you start thinking about someone in government, take a moment to pray for her or him.  Ask God to fill them with those qualities which are developed from within by His Spirit, and to protect them from the destructive attitudes of the world.  Then pray, “Thy Kingdom come…”

Quotes: The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (electronic ed.). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.