Late Sunday night I was flipping through endless channels of nothingness and came across the announcement that President Obama's healthcare reform bill had been passed through the House of Representatives. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and members of her "team" were at the podium smiling, laughing, and in essence celebrating their victory. One of the speakers, the assistant deputy of something, somewhere started talking about leadership. He made the comment (and I'm paraphrasing from memory here) that Congress is all about leadership and he felt that the Continental Congress would be proud of their leadership. His comment has given me a lot to think about over the last few days.
- Is what we are seeing in Washington D.C. leadership?
- Are Democrats "leading" our country toward "a more perfect Union?"
- Are Republicans "leading" the people by insuring "domestic Tranquility" or promoting "general Welfare?"
- Is anyone in our government's "leadership" trying to "secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity?"
As a relatively "small time" leader of a band of Christ-followers in Bluffton, S.C. I don't have a big voice or huge following, and I don't often get mixed up in the mess that is politics in America - It is easy to shoot spitballs at the bus driver from the back seat. But watching our country's "leadership" from a distance has really been convicting me.
Leadership has several different definitions, but two of them caught my eye:
Def. #1 - "to go before or with to show the way" Def. #2 - "to be superior to; have the advantage over"
Here's what I'm wondering today. Our "leaders" in the White House and in Congress should be taking the very core beliefs of our country and "going before or with" us "to show the way." But I get the feeling that instead of guiding us, they seem to be acting as if they are "superior to" us, as if they "have the advantage over" the rest of the country.
Does Obama's new healthcare plan fit into even the preamble of the Constitution of the United States? Does it "establish Justice?" (Think about the bill in terms of rightness, lawfulness, and fairness.) Does it "insure domestic Tranquility?" (Think about the number of States that are beginning the legal process to fight against the Federal Government's decision.) Does it "promote the general Welfare?" (Think about the health, happiness, and prosperity of all.) Does it "secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity?" (Think about the benefits and blessings of freedom, not just for us, but for the next two generations.)
You may read through this and say, "Yep. Obama and the Dems are right on track." You may read through it and say, "Nope. The U. S. Constitution is in jeopardy as is our country's future." I'm not trying to sell you on what I think about the politics of our country, I'm simply trying to point out that at times leadership is highly subjective. Different sides have different ideas for solving the same issues. You have your ideas and I have mine. Sometimes mine are right, sometimes yours are right.
So here's my conviction through watching this whole mess:
Subjective leadership without objective accountability results in corrupted power and oppressed followers.
The questions for me as a leader:
- Who holds me accountable?
- Is that accountability objective?
- Am I humble enough to submit to that accountability?
- Am I willing to keep myself from being corrupt by refusing too much power?
- Is my heart, attitude, or leadership ever in a place of feeling or acting "superior to" those who are influenced by me?
If you are a "leader" I challenge you to wrestle with these questions. If you are a "follower" of a leader I encourage you to ask about your leader's accountability. If you are an American I beg you to pray for our nation's "leadership."
And if, on the off chance, you are a Congressperson or the President and you read this, I would humbly ask you to consider and dwell on the following truth:
"'The decision is announced by messengers, the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of men.'" - Daniel 4:17