I believe it is very important that we have biblical principles guiding us as we prepare for the upcoming presidential race. You might be thinking well that’s obvious that we want someone who directly reflects the Bible, but I think we should consider biblical principles in choosing a leader as well. When choosing a president, leadership concepts are essential! These principles stand true even when choosing a church. We should consider not just whether a person is gifted in the area of service or whether we like their message. The Bible provides some other important considerations, some of which are outlined in 1 Timothy 3. The emphasis of godly leadership is not upon charisma or public persona, but upon one’s personal life. How a person lives in their personal life is a greater measure of a person’s character and this is an essential attribute for anyone seeking a position of leadership. We should always see the desire for a position of leadership is a good thing, but we also need to be considerate of their motivations.
Leadership Starts at Home
In the consideration for the position of overseer of a church, the first measurement is the quality of one’s family life. While being the head of a family is not a position one would consider as having status, handling this responsibility well indicates good character. Being the head of a family requires a good relationship with your spouse and the ability to deal with the ups and downs of parenting. Most of the rewards of the family come over time, so a strong commitment to patience and longsuffering is required. These are not attributes we get excited about developing, but they do produce good things over time. This test of behavior also reveals the principle of stewardship that says, “a person who is faithful with the least will also be faithful over much.” By using the word “least,” I am not saying the level of importance, but the level of status or position.
Leaders Must Teach
When considering a choice for leadership, I would always want to know something about their track record. Don’t tell me what you are going to do if you can’t point out what you “have done.” Your past will determine what you are able to teach. A true leader must be a teacher. A true leader isn’t just testing the winds of public opinion, but has the courage and perseverance both to teach others and try to influence their opinion. A good leader’s ability to teach may not be demonstrated in a charismatic fashion. Hitler is an example of a charismatic leader who could sway the opinion of millions of people, but one who unfortunately led them down a path of destruction.
Can We Find a Leader Like God Outlines?
The Bible teaches us that a leader must not be “covetous.” The German people could have avoided the path of destruction if they would have noted the covetousness of their leader and his character appealed to their covetousness! According to scripture, a leader will not be quarrelsome. A great leader knows the benefit of appealing to our higher level behaviors, not our base ones. The principle of “not being greedy for money” is very important in our day. Politics today has a lot of money connected with it and how a person connects with the money world is a great revelation of character. Many politicians use their positions to enrich themselves, and this indicates a motivation not based upon altruism, but self-aggrandizement.
Are there still leaders today who are seeking positions for the benefit of others? I should hope. I know that’s what I will be looking for! Let’s take a minute to make sure we’re reflecting these principles and teaching them to our children. We have future leaders among us!